Marc Anthony Must Pay New York $2.5 Million in Back Taxes, Interest, and Penalties

Marc Anthony has agreed to pay about $2.5 million in back taxes, interest and penalties because of his failure to file returns for five years, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said that Anthony, who was not prosecuted on tax charges, failed to file returns for 2000 through 2004 on $15.5 million in income. He said the singer, who is married to Jennifer Lopez, filed tax returns for 2005.

Morgenthau's chief of investigations, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Castleman, said Anthony and Lopez, 37, do not file jointly so she was not implicated in the investigation.

Morgenthau said his office did not prosecute Anthony, 38, because a professional accountant prepared his tax returns and the entertainer apparently thought the returns had been filed and any due taxes had been paid.

"We have to be able to show intent" to cheat on taxes, Morgenthau said.

He said Anthony had relied on professional accountants in the past and there were no problems. He said the delinquencies began when Anthony changed accountants.

A state Department of Taxation computer drew attention to Anthony, whose real name is Marco Antonio Muniz, when it kicked out his state return because of discrepancies, said Peter Farrell, an assistant deputy commissioner of the department.

Castleman said Anthony will remit $2.5 million in back taxes, interest and penalties to satisfy the total owed by him and three of his companies.

Anthony, who recently produced his wife's first all-Spanish album, "Como Ama una Mujer (How a Woman Loves)," signed the payment agreement April 3.

Two of Anthony's associates have pleaded guilty to tax felonies.

One is Anthony's brother, Bigram Zayes, who acted as the general manager of the singer's companies from 2000 to early 2003, Morgenthau said.

He said Zayes pleaded guilty April 10 to failing to file federal and state returns on $2.4 million in income from 2000 through 2004. Zayes will be sentenced June 12 to a conditional discharge upon paying $400,000 in taxes, interest and penalties and a $50,000 fine, Morgenthau said.

The other associate is Philip Sarna, an accountant for Anthony and the three companies, Morgenthau said. He said Sarna failed to file federal and state personal tax returns and New York City unincorporated business tax returns for 2002, 2003 and 2004 on $300,000 in taxable income.

Sarna pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony failure to file and will be sentenced June 13 to a conditional discharge upon paying $43,000 in taxes, interest and penalties and a $50,000 fine.

Tax officials found that three companies run by Anthony — Ari Enterprises Ltd., his touring company; Bolero Records Ltd., his music publishing company; and Marc Anthony Productions Inc. (MAP), his management company — had either failed to file returns or failed to pay all the taxes due in 2001 through 2004.

Morgenthau said Ari and Bolero pleaded guilty on April 5 to two misdemeanor tax offenses of failing to file city and state corporate tax returns for 2003 as part of a plea deal.

The two companies are expected to be sentenced June 7 to maximum possible fines of $40,000 each, prosecutors said. MAP will not be prosecuted.