06/16/2010 12:00AM

November trial date set for ClassicStar defendants


Former operators of the now-defunct ClassicStar mare-lease program are among almost 100 defendants who will face trial in Lexington, Ky., starting Nov. 30, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Several defendants, including horsemen David and Spencer Plummer and John Parrott, part owner of ClassicStar's parent company GeoStar, already have pleaded guilty to $200 million in tax fraud in a federal court case. They face up to five years in prison. But there are more than two dozen other suits pending nationwide against the ClassicStar breeding operation from breeders alleging ClassicStar falsely advertised its mare-lease program as a legal tax shelter. Plaintiffs have alleged fraud totaling more than half a billion dollars.

The Internal Revenue Service raided ClassicStar's Kentucky farm in February 2006, not long after the Plummers left the company. When the Plummers and accountant Terry Green pleaded guilty last October, the IRS said investors in the program filed more than $500 million in false tax deductions.

ClassicStar was the nation's leading broodmare purchaser in 2004 with 12 mares totaling $9,835,000.