Las Vegas Sun

November 14, 2018

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Debbie Reynolds’ son sues IRS in casino tax dispute

Todd Fisher, the son of actress Debbie Reynolds, sued the Internal Revenue Service in a dispute over taxes levied against the former Debbie Reynolds hotel-casino in Las Vegas.

Fisher, who had been chief executive of the hotel-casino, alleged he was improperly assessed penalties for the hotel's failure to pay employment taxes in 1996 and 1997.

Fisher, who said the hotel defaulted on tax payments totalling about $513,469 because of "management irregularities," denied responsibility for the default.

Fisher said he was allegedly forced into signing pre-prepared documents concerning the taxes without legal counsel because of the IRS's alleged threats to immediately close the hotel.

He said he wasn't responsible for writing payroll checks or withholding corporate taxes for the hotel and that his signature wasn't on any payroll checks until the hotel's bankruptcy filing and the departure of its then chief operations officer.

Fisher alleged the IRS wasn't paid in full because of its alleged failure to properly file liens against the hotel despite receiving assistance from the hotel's attorneys and accountants.

IRS officer Bill Brunson declined comment on the allegations.

Reynolds and the hotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 1997 after the collapse of an agreement for ILX Inc., a Phoenix-based time-share resort developer, to buy the 192-room Las Vegas property for $16.8 million.

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Inc. acquired the bankrupt hotel in 1998 for $10.8 million, but later sold the hotel, saying it wasn't big enough for its plans.

Mark IV Realty Group Inc. of Chicago acquired the hotel from World Wrestling Federation for $11.2 million and dropped the Reynolds name and theme in favor of a new orientation based on Greece. The newly themed Greek Isles hotel-casino opened its casino in July.