Businessman Pardoned by Clinton Sentenced

A businessman once pardoned by former President Clinton (search) was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for failing to pay millions of dollars in federal income tax.

Under a plea agreement, Almon Glenn Braswell (search) admitted that his Marina del Rey-based mail-order vitamin business, Gero Vita International, did not pay $4.5 million in taxes.

U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow said Braswell could have been sentenced to up to 41 months, but he cooperated with authorities in their case against Braswell's tax preparer, William E. Frantz (search), an Atlanta attorney.

However, Frantz eventually was acquitted of charges he helped Braswell avoid paying income taxes.

Braswell has paid $10.5 million in back taxes, interest and penalties, Morrow said during the sentencing hearing. He received credit for time already served in jail and will serve 10 months in prison.

Braswell, 61, has been jailed without bail since his January 2003 arrest in Miami.

Clinton granted 177 pardons and clemencies just before leaving office in 2001. Braswell was pardoned of convictions for fraud and other crimes stemming from false claims in 1983 about a baldness treatment.

His pardon became one of the most criticized after it was learned that Clinton's brother-in-law, Hugh Rodham (search), had been paid $200,000 to work on the case. Rodham later returned the money.