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Space entrepreneur indicted on tax fraud charges
Posted: Mon, Feb 28, 2005, 8:08 PM ET (0108 GMT)
Anderson, Walt (J. Foust) An entrepreneur who has backed a number of commercial space ventures, including a bid to commercialize the Russian space station Mir, has been indicted in one of the biggest tax evasion cases of its kind. Walt Anderson was arrested Saturday at Dulles Airport outside Washington after returning from London, three days after a federal grand jury returned a 12-count indictment. Prosecutors allege that Anderson evaded paying more than $200 million in personal income taxes by using an elaborate scheme of offshore corporations to hide income he earned from telecommunications ventures. If convicted on all the charges Anderson could face up to 80 years in prison. Anderson is best known in the space community for establishing MirCorp, a joint venture with Russian aerospace company Energia that attempted to commercialize the Mir space station five years ago. Anderson also invested in Rotary Rocket Company, a venture that attempted to develop a reusable launch vehicle in the late 1990s. More recently Anderson was a backer of Orbital Recovery Corporation, a company developing a space tug designed to extend the life of commercial communications satellites.
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