Baucus Launches Inquiry after Mitchell Report, Seeking Steroid-Related Tax, Trade Violations
Finance Chairman requests additional information on possible evasion, import crimes
Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) launched a Finance Committee inquiry today to determine whether a new report on drug use in professional baseball indicates violations of Federal tax or trade laws related to the sale or purchase of steroids and other drugs. In a letter to Senator George J. Mitchell, who conducted the investigation at the request of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Baucus requested information on any evidence the former Senate Majority Leader may have uncovered regarding tax evasion, money laundering, or cross-border trafficking in connection with the use of drugs in baseball. The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over U.S. tax and trade laws.
“Steroid use is more than a scourge on our national pastime. This terrible trend has enticed
thousands and thousands of Americans to emulate their heroes’ dangerous and illegal drug
abuse. If the Federal crimes committed by baseball players and their dealers go beyond drug
violations, the investigation shouldn’t stop short,” Baucus said. “The Finance Committee has a
duty to maintain the integrity of the nation’s tax and trade laws, and it is appropriate to ask
whether the breaking of such laws fed baseball’s drug epidemic.”
Baucus requested information from Senator Mitchell by January 10, 2008. He indicated that he will consider hearings in the Finance Committee if evidence warrants.
The text of the Senator’s letter follows here:
December 14, 2007
Senator George J. Mitchell
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10020-1104
Dear Senator Mitchell,
Having read with interest your report on the use of steroids and other drugs by Major League Baseball players, I would very much appreciate your assisting the Senate Finance Committee in two lines of inquiry under our jurisdiction: potential tax evasion by suppliers or purchasers of steroids and other drugs, and potential trade issues related to the import of these substances. Based on investigation, please answer the following questions:
1. To the extent that drugs used by Major League baseball players were illegal, did your investigation uncover any potential tax evasion or other financial crimes (e.g., money
laundering) by individuals or businesses connected to the sale of these illegal drugs? If so,
describe the indicia, extent and type of such evasion and criminal behavior.
2. To the extent that drugs used by Major League baseball players were legal, did your investigation uncover any potential tax evasion or other financial crimes (e.g., money
laundering) by individuals or businesses connected to the sale of these drugs? If so, describe
the indicia, extent and type of such evasion and criminal behavior.
3. Did your investigation uncover any indication that foreign bank accounts or other offshore
mechanisms were used to hide drug proceeds? If so, describe the indicia, extent, and type of
4. Please provide a list of individuals or businesses that supplied steroids to the players named in your report.
5. In the course of your investigation, did you or your investigators find evidence of any cross
border transfer of steroids, either legal or illegal?
6. In any instances where steroids were imported into the United States, were such steroids
accurately declared at the border, following all laws and regulations regarding the import of
such substances? At which port(s) of entry were the declarations made?
7. Please provide a list of companies and/or individuals that are known to have imported, or to
be otherwise responsible for the importation of, illegal or legal steroids.
I would appreciate a written response or a briefing of my staff at the Finance Committee by January 10, 2008. Please contact John Angell of my staff at 202-224-4515 to coordinate a response. Thank you for your assistance.
U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
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