A Chicago politician has been charged with tax evasion after being accused of diverting in excess of $225,000 from campaign coffers to pay for gambling and other personal expenses.
The former police officer who is now a politician pleaded not guilty to four tax crimes. Each crime carries a potential prison sentence of three years. He is also charged with taking $68,000 of campaign money in order to increase the amount of his pension. The trial carries many similarities to the Rod Blagojevich trial, which led to a 14-year prison sentence for the former governor. The judge is the same, and many of the attorneys on each side are the same attorneys as the former trial.
The politician is particularly known for his antics; he compared the prosecutor to an infamous Nazi. He also contends that he was indicted because he refused to wear a wire in order to get incriminating evidence against another county commissioner. He believes that the current prosecution is in retribution of his refusal to help the government with this case. The politician repaid the funds that are in dispute with the current litigation once he knew that he was being investigated. He plans to testify at the trial in his defense.
When a person is facing charges of tax evasion, he or she faces many serious consequences. A person can receive many years in prison if the government proves its case. A tax attorney can provide the best defense to a defendant by trying to prove that the government has failed to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: Washington Post, “Democrat facing tax-evasion trial seen by many as artifact of old-school Chicago politics,” Michael Tarm, Dec. 3, 2012