Flashy Dallas Real Estate Personality Admits Tax Evasion

Eleanor Mowery Sheets and Nicky Sheets in happier days. Nicky pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
Eleanor Mowery Sheets and Nicky Sheets in happier days. Nicky pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

John Nicholas "Nicky" Sheets was like a character out of the 1980s TV show "Dallas." The motorcycle-riding ostrich rancher with a graying ponytail met his second wife, Eleanor, a successful real estate agent (Coldwell Banker's top Texas agent for 12 years straight), while looking for house to buy in the Dallas area. For their first date, he showed up at her house wearing a white tuxedo and driving a white limo.

The pair wed in 1992 and became the best-known, wealthiest, and certainly flashiest real estate team in the Lone Star State. So when Nicky Sheets pleaded guilty this week to a cumulative individual and corporate tax evasion of $2.7 million, including penalties and interest -- a crime that carries prison term of up to five years, as well as a fine as much as $250,000 -- it sent ripples through the Texas real estate market. Many observers, however, were not surprised.