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Ex-Dodger admits selling fake karaoke machines, not paying taxes

March 29, 2012 |  4:33 pm

A former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher admitted Thursday that he operated a business selling counterfeit karaoke machines without paying taxes on the sales, authorities said.

As part of his plea agreement, William S. Bene admitted that, for four years, he illegally copied and sold karaoke songs on hard drives, with each drive holding about 122,000 songs.

He also admitted that he did not report his more than $600,000 in sales to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office. Investigators from the FBI and the IRS also found that Bene asked in 2008 for relief from back taxes, saying he could not afford to pay.

Bene, 44, of Pasadena, was selected by the Dodgers in the first round of the 1988 amateur draft.

He is charged with one count of criminal copyright infringement and one count of filing a false tax return. He could face fines as well as a maximum sentence of eight years' imprisonment.

Bene's first federal court appearance is scheduled for April 30.

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-- Rosanna Xia

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