SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds' legal team is preparing for
the Giants slugger to be indicted as soon as next week and has
begun plotting his defense.
Attorney Laura Enos told The Associated Press on Friday that
Bonds, second on the career home run list, could be charged with
tax evasion and perjury. Enos, Bonds' personal attorney, also said
the lawyers believe the grand jury investigating the star player
will expire next Thursday.
"We are very prepared," Enos said. "We have excellent tax
records and we are very comfortable that he has not shortchanged
the government at all."
Also Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to
free Bonds' personal trainer from prison. A federal judge on July 5
ordered Greg Anderson jailed until he agreed to testify before the
grand jury investigating Bonds for perjury.
The grand jury is believed to be investigating Bonds for tax
evasion in connection with cash he allegedly gave former girlfriend
Kimberly Bell to buy a house. The money came from sales of Bonds'
signatures on baseball memorabilia, and the income allegedly was
not reported to the IRS.
Enos said that claim -- based upon the ex-girlfriend's testimony
and the allegations of childhood friend and former business partner
Steve Hoskins -- was untrue. Enos said Hoskins gave Bell the cash to
curry favor with Bonds and to thank the slugger for helping him
become rich by putting him in charge of a lucrative memorabilia
Enos said Hoskins also bought Bonds a $350,000 Bentley Rolls
Royce, on which Bonds paid $150,000 in gift taxes.
Hoskins recently has surfaced as a key government witness in the
investigation of Bonds. He was a boyhood friend who went into
business with the baseball star, selling such memorabilia as signed
jerseys, bats and baseball cards. The two had a falling out in
2003, which Enos said was over Bonds' accusations that Hoskins
forged the slugger's signature on at least two endorsement
contracts and also sold Bonds' gear without his permission.
Hoskins' lawyer, Michael Cardoza, did not immediate return a
call for comment Friday.
The grand jury also is investigating Bonds for perjury for
allegedly telling an earlier grand jury he never knowingly used
Bell is a key witness on that front and told the grand jury that
Bonds said he used performance-enhancing drugs and that he flew
into rages she attributed to steroid use, according to testimony
obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Enos said Bonds also denies those allegations and will argue
that Bell's testimony amounts to "pillow talk."
"It's a he-said, she-said thing," Enos said.
Another potential star witness is Anderson, a childhood friend
of Bonds who served three months in prison for steroid
distribution. But he has refused to testify to the grand jury
investigating Bonds and a federal judge sent him back to prison on
July 5 until he changes his mind.
The federal appeals court on Friday declined to release him.
Anderson was Bonds' personal trainer and one of five people
convicted in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative scandal. The
Burlingame nutritional supplement company was exposed as a steroid
laboratory for top athletes.
Bonds hit 12 home runs in the first half of this season to give
him 720 for his career, 35 from tying home run king Hank Aaron's
record of 755. He passed Babe Ruth and moved into second place on
the career list with No. 715 on May 28.
He's batting .249 this season with 38 RBI, and has missed 20
games with knee problems.
If charged with perjury and convicted, he could face up to five
years in prison. He could face another five years if charged and
convicted of money laundering.