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Former Dodger Sentenced for Dodging Taxes

A former Dodger convicted of dodging his taxes has been sentenced to serve six months in prison and pay an enormous fine.

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A 44-year-old former Dodgers pitcher was sentenced Monday to six months in prison and ordered to pay more than $106,000 to the federal government after being convicted of dodging his taxes, U.S. Attorney officials said.

From 2006 to 2010, Bill Bene of Pasadena operated a counterfeit karaoke business, where he sold illegal jukeboxes without paying federal taxes on the sales.  Along with selling the karaoke systems, Bene illegally copied and sold over 100,000 karaoke songs on hard drives.

Bene failed to report over $600,000 in sales to the Internal Revenue Service.  He also neglected to tell the IRS about the business, even asking in 2008 for relief from back taxes after claiming he was unable to pay.

In March 2012, Bene pleaded guilty to counts of criminal copyright infringement and filing false tax returns in the Los Angeles federal court, said the U.S. Attorney's office.

In addition to serving six months behind bars and paying a fine,Bene was ordered to spend three years under supervised release, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Wesley Hsu.

"Intellectual property crimes are not victimless," said U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte, Jr. "As this federal case shows, these crimes of stealth hurt the small businesses that do play by the rules, and they slao deprive the federal government of tax revenue that could be put to beneficial use."

Bene, an amateur draft pick in 1988, will no longer be dodging baseballs or his taxes.

Bene's sentence comes on the heels of the Dodger's 5-3 victory against the Cincinnati Reds Sunday.  Though the team has dropped 11 of its last 17 games, the weekend's win lets them keep pace in the race for a wildcard position. 

After a one-day break, the Dodgers begin a three game series in San Diego against the Padres Tuesday. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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