Pa. Philanthropist Under Investigation for Tax Evasion

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Federal prosecutors contend a businessman known for pledging money to help track down criminals has pocked $3.2 million of income over the past several years while not paying federal taxes since 2000.

Court papers allege Joe Mammana diverted millions from his Yardley egg farm into his personal checking account and four other business accounts to avoid income taxes.Mammana has been "lining his pockets and accumulating luxury cars and a luxury house with the proceeds of his business, all while refusing to report this illicit income to the IRS," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in court papers Friday.

The court filing requested Mammana be kept in custody while awaiting trial on recent gun charges. U.S. Magistrate L. Felipe Restrepo granted the request, denying bail because he said Mammana was a flight risk.

Mammana was arrested on Thursday, the day after authorities found a loaded handgun in his home during a search for evidence of possible mail and wire fraud, according to an arrest warrant.

He has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for aggravated assault, larceny and narcotics violations.

The felon-turned-philanthropist has offered reward money in numerous high-profile cases, including the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba last year and the death of Julie Popovich, whose skeletal remains were found Sept. 1 near an Ohio reservoir.

Mammana is embroiled in a lawsuit with an Ohio crime-stoppers group that alleged he reneged on the reward offered in the Popovich slaying. The head of the group, Kevin Miles, is also suing Mammana, saying someone with a baseball bat attacked him and told him to drop the lawsuit.

Mammana said he had nothing to do with the attack.

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