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Tucker Loses Cable Tax Fraud Appeal

Former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker lost a bid to withdraw his guilty plea in tax fraud case related to a cable investment. Tucker was also among those swept up in 1995 in the investigations of Whitewater real estate transactions involving then-President Bill Clinton, who preceeded Tucker as governor of Arkansas.

In the cable case, Tucker and his partners were accused of misrepresenting themselves in applying for a federally guaranteed loan, then orchestrating the sham bankruptcy of a cable company to shelter the operation from taxes when it was sold.

The colorful Tucker was well-known in the circles of cable dealmakers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Tucker served as Arkansas' governor from 1992 (when Clinton assumed the presidency) until 1996, when he resigned after being convicted with former Clinton Whitewater business partners James and Susan McDougal.

Two years later, Tucker plead guilty to the cable-system fraud, but avoided prison and had a $1 million fine reduced to $63,000. He then tried to withdraw his plea, contending that he had been charged under the wrong law.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Tucker's confession (of consipiring to dodge the IRS) was enough to allow his plea to stand.