Irvin Kovens, boyhood friend and codefendent of Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel, has assets of almost $9 million in 1972 with most of the money - $7.3 million - tied up in loans or stored in checking accounts.
Net worth statements for Kovens from 1969 to 1972 were introduced into evidence today by his attorney Norman Ramsey private man, Kovens has only said before that he was "wealthy." His attorney made public his statements only until 1972 in an affort to show that Kovens did not hold majority interest in the Marloboro race track as the prosecution alleges.
The track is the centrepiece of the second phase of the prosecution's case in the political corruption trial of Mandel and five codefendants. The government contends that Mandel pushed legislation benefiting it in return for favors worth $350,000 from his codefendants who were allegedly secret owners of the track.
Those favors included $155,000 in tax free bonds Kovens provided to Mandel's first wife as part of the governor's 1974 divorce settlement. Kovens also allegedly guaranteed payment of the divorce settlement for Mandel.
In 1969 the assets of Kovens as an individual and with his wife jointly added up to $5.3 million. They varied over the next three years $6.1 million, $9.2 million and $8.8 million respectively.
It was in 1971 and 1972, however, that Kovens's fortunes became tied up in loans to people and institutions as varied as Lums Inc., the Tuesday Magazine sunday supplement, and Ellis and Louise Goodman, members of his family. By 1972 $6.5 million of his $8.8 million was spread out in 15 major loans that include one to codefendant Harry Rodgers.
That $200,000 was used to purchase the Marlboro race track and is one of the pegs that the prosecution is using to show that Kovens, and not his friend, Irving T. (Tubby) Schwartz was the majority stockholder in the track.
While Kovens has denied holding any interest in Marlboro, the other codefendants - W. Dale Hess, William A. Rodgers, Harry W. Rodgers and Ernest N. Cory Jr., - have all acknowleged that they owned a portion of the track.
The net worth statements were introduced today because Schwartz, on paper, was listed as the majority stockholder in Marlboro.
The prosecution contends that Schwartz was a front for Kovens in the purchase of the half-time track in 1971. Schwartz, who has admitted that he had been a front for two other Kovens' businesses, denied he was a front for the track.
Since Kovens was excused for health reasons from the last trial his net worth statements have never been introduced into evidence.