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West Chester lawyer charged for part in 'anti-tax underground'

A West Chester lawyer and businessman was charged yesterday by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to defraud the IRS and related offenses.

A West Chester lawyer and businessman was charged yesterday by a federal grand jury with conspiracy to defraud the IRS and related offenses.

Authorities said that Wayne D. Bozeman, 60, arrested at his home yesterday morning, was part of a conspiracy orchestrated by Norristown lawyer Bernard J. Bagdis to conceal $24 million of income from Uncle Sam, resulting in a tax loss of almost $5 million.

Bagdis and 10 others, including lawyers and doctors, were originally indicted last November.

Seven defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty and are cooperating with the feds.

Besides charges against Bozeman, new charges were added yesterday against Bagdis and co-defendants Bertram R. Russell, a Gladwyne radiologist, and Richard J. Frase, an engineer from Schoharie, N.Y.

Bagdis, Russell, Frase and co-defendant John Leichner, a Newtown surgeon, have all pleaded not guilty to various tax offenses.

The superseding indictment alleges that Bagdis helped Bozeman prepare a false tax return in April 2007, while Bagdis was free on bail and under court supervision.

Peter J. Scuderi, Bagdis' lawyer, said: "My client's position is he's done nothing wrong. There's a defense to everything."

According to the original indictment, Bagdis allegedly boasted to IRS undercover agents that he had been part of an "anti-tax underground," and told a co-defendant cooperating with the feds, "I'm working on my new book - it's called, 'Federal Tax Fraud, the User's Guide.' "

Bozeman appeared before a federal magistrate yesterday and pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and tax-related offenses. He was released on $25,000 personal-recognizance bail. If he fails to show up in court, he'd have to pay that amount to the government.

Defense attorney Frank Marcone said that Bozeman doesn't believe that he did anything inappropriate, and relied on the advice of two tax attorneys, both CPAs and one of whom is a former IRS agent.

Authorities said that Bozeman ran a company that purchased and resold components for amusement and gaming machines, Keystone Game Supply, Inc.

The feds said that Bagdis helped Bozeman receive unreported income from Keystone via checks deposited by Keystone into a bank account held in the name of another company that Bozeman owned and controlled.

The feds said that those checks were then deducted on Keystone's books and tax returns as consulting-fee expenses.

Bozeman allegedly used the unreported compensation to pay his and his wife's personal expenses.

The feds allege that Bozeman received more than $830,000 in taxable income that he did not report from 1999 through 2007, resulting in $157,000 of tax due. *