San Diego Business Journal

The Franchise Tax Board, the agency that collects state income taxes, released its latest list of the worst tax deadbeats April 9. Among those owing the most are two San Diego names.

Former San Diego Padre Kevin Mitchell was said to owe $5.18 million in personal income tax, and Michael Fanghella, the former chief executive of Pinn Fund USA, the largest and most notorious Ponzi scam in San Diego history, owes $4.1 million to California.

Fanghella isn’t going to pay off his bill anytime soon since he’s serving a 10-year sentence he received in 2003 after pleading guilty to six felonies, including money laundering, wire fraud and tax evasion in connection with a scheme that defrauded about 200 investors of some $300 million.

Fanghella and several other convicted Pinn Fund officers promised investors annual returns of more than 17 percent starting in the late 1990s through the originating and selling of subprime mortgages from its Carlsbad headquarters.

The operation actually used new investor funds to pay off earlier investors and support Fanghella’s lavish lifestyle that included ownership in several homes, sports cars, yachts and expensive dinner parties. He also gave away a Laguna Niguel home and many gifts to his porn star girlfriend.

Mitchell, a native San Diegan and now 48, had a stellar career early on with the Mets and Padres. He played for eight different Major League teams over 13 seasons.

The list, which can be viewed at ftb.ca.gov, lists the top 250 individual and business taxpayers with income tax liens where the total bill owed is greater than $100,000.

— Mike Allen