MIAMI, FEB. 12 -- A federal judge today spared millionaire industrialist Victor Posner a prison term, but ordered him to contribute $3 million to help Florida's homeless, pay more than $4 million in back taxes and penalties and spend 5,000 hours in community service.

Posner, 69, faced up to 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to evading more than $1.2 million in federal taxes by inflating the value of land he donated to a Bible college as a tax exemption.

U.S. District Judge Eugene P. Spellman directed Posner to pay $4 million in back taxes, penalties, interest and fines, plus the cost of his prosecution.

The judge said the homeless project will include Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, and he appointed a committee of civic leaders to determine how the money will be spent. He also directed that Posner's community service include five hours a day, one day each of the next eight weeks at a downtown Miami mission for the homeless.

When questioned about the agreement, Posner said: "I've been involved in charity works all my life, and I've given millions and millions to charity."

The judge told Posner, "Not one dollar of the funds of this project are tax-deductible."

Posner's attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, told Spellman the case is unique.

"This is the only case in the 75-year history of the graduated income tax law in which a taxpayer has been charged in a criminal matter {only} with overstating the value of a charitable gift," Williams said. "In all other cases, other frauds were involved."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Cartusciello said a jail term was necessary as a deterrent. "Mr. Posner lied to the Internal Revenue Service and he corrupted others," he said. "In his statement to the probation officers he makes the same claims and tells the same lies. He doesn't show he's remorseful, that he's sorry."

Posner's holdings include controlling interests in Royal Crown Cola, Sharon Steel, Arby's and the Graniteville textile company. He was named the highest-paid executive by Business Week magazine in 1985.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, only a statement that the defendant will offer no defense. For sentencing purposes, it is equal to a guilty plea or conviction.