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Jagr sues former accountant

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Saturday, Aug. 12, 2006

Jaromir Jagr considers his former accountant the Six Million Dollar Man.

The former Penguins star sued Richland accountant Gary Schick on Tuesday, demanding he turn over a tax form that was supposed to be filed with the IRS in 2003. The lawsuit, filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, claims that if Jagr does not get the form, it will cost him $6 million.

"Whatever I had, I turned over to his attorney or his new accountant," said Schick, of Harmony, Butler County. "I don't know what I can fight here. I turned it all over."

Jagr's attorney, James A. Marchewka, of Canonsburg, Washington County, insisted that Schick has refused for two years to turn over the paperwork, which concerns the hockey player's stock trading.

"This was a last resort, since Mr. Schick has not returned our calls or responded to written correspondence," said Marchewka, who said Schick once claimed that the form was "lost in a flood."

Jagr has had previous tax problems. According to court records, the Internal Revenue Service filed tax liens against Jagr totalling more than $35,000 in 2002, $3.2 million in 2003 and $1.4 million in 2004. All of the liens have been satisfied, court records state.

Marchewka said Jagr, who left the Penguins in 2001 and now plays for the New York Rangers, would not comment.

Jagr, who maintains a home in Upper St. Clair, is appealing his 2003 tax return to the IRS, according to the lawsuit. Schick said he prepared that tax return.

The lawsuit states Jagr needs a copy of a tax form titled "Election to be traded as an occupational trader" for his appeal.

Schick said he filed the form, which he said declared Jagr as an "occupational trader" and allowed him to deduct all of his stock losses, instead of the normal $3,000 maximum for taxpayers.

Although Schick said he filed the form with the IRS, he said he did not deduct all of the stock losses on Jagr's tax return that year.

"As far as I was concerned, he was a hockey player," Schick said. "In my opinion, he's not an occupational trader, but I guess his new accountant feels he is."

The IRS does not have a copy of the form, the lawsuit states.

Schick said he remembers Jagr losing some money on stock trading that year, "but not $6 million."

Marchewka declined to discuss Jagr's tax appeal or how his client could lose that much money.

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