As the tax season draws to a close this week, some of our more recognizable citizens are probably wondering if Uncle Sam will catch them cheating on their taxes again. Take Lil Wayne, who was just popped by the Internal Revenue Service for not paying his fair share in 2008 and 2009. The government hit the Young Money Democrat with a lien on his Miami mansion for $5.6 million in unpaid taxes. It's not the first time President Carter has been caught. Last year, he paid off a $1 million lien for skipping out on taxes in 2004, 2005, and 2007. Before that, the IRS nailed him with a lien for $977,840.
But the Grammy-winning artist isn't the first high-profile deadbeat to grace our sunny shores. In 2008, the tax agency filed a lien against R. Allen Stanford's Coral Gables estate, as well as other properties the Texas financier owned. His unpaid tax bill was a whopping $104 million. Fellow fraud Scott Rothstein owed nearly $10 million in unpaid taxes for 2008, according to the IRS, which received a judge's approval to seize all of Rothstein's 24 properties in Florida, Rhode Island, and New York.
Other tax dodgers include two retired celebrity athletes, an ex-North Bay Village mayor, a pro poker player, and a Nigerian-born engineer caught up in a public corruption probe:
• Tim Hardaway: Earlier this year, the Miami Heat bailed out its former star point guard by buying his mansion to help him clear a $120,000 federal tax debt. The IRS had put a lien on the baller's 7,542-square-foot crib.
• Bernie Kosar: When the former national champion Miami Hurricanes quarterback filed for bankruptcy in 2009, he listed among his liabilities $231,094 in unpaid income taxes for 1996. But he did not include more than $322,000 the IRS claims he owed for 2000, 2006, and 2007.
• Oscar Alfonso: Before, during, and after his tenure as North Bay Village mayor, Alfonso has been dogged with financial problems, including an IRS lien for $223,886.
• Michael "the Grinder" Mizrachi: Shortly after the Miramar-based poker pro won two nationally televised World Poker Tour events in 2005 and 2006, tax agents knocked on his door. Well, actually, the IRS filed a tax lien against him for roughly $340,000.
• Emmanuel Nwadike: In 2009, Nwadike served as Opa-locka's chief engineer, steering about $2.4 million in city contracts to a firm that paid him at least $348,000 in kickbacks, according to state prosecutors. Maybe he needed the cash to help pay off his $633,000 tax lien.