Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Babe's "Nephew" Convicted In Tax Fraud

George Herman Ruth, 51, who claims to be the nephew of Babe Ruth, was found guilty in Trenton yesterday. The supposed relative of the Sultan of Swat has put together quite the resume, leading to a life of crime committed outside and inside state penitentiaries.

From the Star Ledger:

A serial fraudster who claims to be a nephew of baseball legend Babe Ruth was convicted in federal court yesterday of filing 178 bogus tax returns -- from prison.

George Herman Ruth, 51, was serving a 33-month term for mail fraud at the federal prison at Fort Dix when he hatched and carried out a plan to soak the Internal Revenue Service for $360,000 in refunds, a jury ruled in U.S. District Court in Trenton.

Ruth and a co-defendant, 63-year-old William Robert Pilkey, used their own names and assumed the identities of fellow and former inmates in filing the returns for tax years 2000 through 2003. Pilkey, who had been serving 10 years on a drug charge, also was convicted in the scheme, which the pair carried out in 2003 and 2004.

For Ruth -- an Indianapolis native who testified during the trial that he was a nephew of the legendary "Bambino," George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. -- the IRS scam was a variant on an oft-repeated theme.

While imprisoned in 1997 in Indiana, he and a lady friend on the outside stole $33,000 from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development by using assumed names to apply for insurance refunds, records show.

He used the same ruse while working as the circulation manager at an Indiana newspaper, the Marion Chronicle-Tribune, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, filing false returns in the names of various newspaper carriers. He was convicted of filing false returns in 1980, 1981 and 1984.

Unfortunately for this con-artist, his ties to The Babe are as flimsy as his credit report:

As for Ruth's connection to the famed Yankees slugger, it appears to be one more bit of flimflammery.

Babe Ruth's grandson, Tom Stevens, said through a representative last night he didn't know the man.

"He has no knowledge of this George Herman Ruth," said Ryan Boyle, director of sports marketing at CMG Worldwide, the Ruth family's business agent. "He didn't say it's not possible, just that he didn't know of him."

I smell an appearance during The Maury Povich show's famed Paternity Test Week. Forget blood tests, just see if this guy can down a dozen hot dogs and a party ball in less than a minute and that'll be all the proof you'll need of his bloodlines.

Cashman Wants Him Some Young Pitchin'

In actual Yankees news, Brian Cashman made it clear he wants to build the future of the Yankees franchise around its young pitchers during an appearance at William Patterson University.

"I can't talk about another team's player," said Cashman, "but I can say that I'm committed to our young players."

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