- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 13, 2006

Prince George’s County is opposing a bankruptcy reorganization plan by former heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe because it fails to provide for the payment of property taxes, court records show.

The county’s objection was filed Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greenbelt. Concerns about the plan were outlined in court pleadings in recent weeks by the Internal Revenue Service and a local construction company involved in a failed business deal with the boxer.

County officials say the reorganization plan to restructure millions of dollars in debt fails to reference two tax liens the county holds on a pair of properties owned by Mr. Bowe in Fort Washington, documents show.

County records show annual property taxes for Mr. Bowe’s two properties in Fort Washington equal about $5,000 each.

Stephen B. Gerald, an attorney for Mr. Bowe, 39, had no comment Friday on the county’s objection but said a judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on Mr. Bowe’s reorganization later this month.

Mr. Bowe won a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics and two heavyweight boxing titles, but his career has faltered in recent years. In 2004, he was released from federal prison after serving 17 months for kidnapping his former wife and their five children.

The reorganization plan would allow Mr. Bowe to settle with creditors and eliminate debt without having to liquidate his assets.

The IRS also filed an objection to the plan on July 24, stating a claim filed by the boxer’s ex-wife, Judy Hart, will “receive far better treatment” than the IRS’ claim for unpaid taxes.

The agency filed a claim in the bankruptcy case for $372,304 in December. Mrs. Hart filed a claim for more than $500,000.

The Herndon-based Gulick Group Inc., a construction company, filed an objection to the reorganization plan last week. The company and Mr. Bowe are involved in a dispute over the construction of a home for Mr. Bowe in Fairfax.

Attorneys for the Gulick Group said the company is concerned about being paid on its claim because Mr. Bowe doesn’t have a consistent source of income.

The company stated in its objection that there is no indication of Mr. Bowe’s “earning potential or income, his status in the boxing world and his ability or inability to attract a top level fight.”

Mr. Gerald said Friday he wasn’t sure whether Mr. Bowe plans to fight again.

Mr. Bowe went bankrupt last year after failed business with District-based Unlimited Security Inc. The company’s founder, Jeffrey N. Jackson, has pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud and will be sentenced in federal court in the District on Oct. 31.

Mr. Jackson briefly managed Mr. Bowe’s boxing comeback, but the arrangement collapsed and now the two men are entangled in lawsuits.

Mr. Bowe has not been accused of wrongdoing in connection with his dealings with Unlimited Security.

The financial backer for Mr. Jackson’s security company, Commerce Funding Corp. of Vienna, Va., won a judgment against Mr. Bowe for more than $2 million. The case was related to the default of a guaranteed a line of financing for Unlimited Security.

Attorneys for Mr. Bowe have said Mr. Jackson arranged the deal and that Mr. Bowe was duped out of millions of dollars. Mr. Jackson has denied the charges, bankruptcy filings show.

“I got burned,” the boxer told The Washington Times in an interview last year.

Mr. Bowe and Commerce Funding have settled their dispute. Mr. Bowe agreed to pay the company $667,000, according to the reorganization proposal. In a separate deal, Commerce Funding also has struck a settlement with Mr. Jackson in which he now owes the company $1 million.

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