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Ex-Sprint Heads Blame IRS for Tax Shelter Woes 13 Years Ago

  • Ex-CEO Esrey, Ex-COO LeMay say IRS `helped hide information'
  • Both resigned in 2003 amid scandal, seek almost $160 million
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The two top Sprint Corp. executives who were caught up in a tax-shelter scandal in 2003 now blame the Internal Revenue Service for losing their jobs.

Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William T. Esrey and Ronald T. LeMay, a former president and chief operating officer, sued the U.S. government Friday over claims they were unfairly forced out of the company after disclosing they were being audited over the use of shelters that deferred taxes from stock option profits. The two men are seeking almost $160 million in combined damages in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.