Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Former politician's tax evasion convictions upheld after appeal

It's no secret that the federal government takes the concept of tax evasion very seriously. Even if someone evades taxes but thinks they may pay back the money at some later -- if unspecified -- date, the government doesn't often look at this as an acceptable solution. This may have been what a former Cook County, Illinois, commissioner thought might happen with his situation, but he was convicted of tax evasion nonetheless.

The ex-commissioner was accused of taking money from his official campaign fund for personal use -- which itself is not permitted; the man was convicted on tax evasion charges because he failed to report that money as income. The commissioner apparently used the money for gambling.

The former commissioner appealed his conviction based on the jury makeup. He is black, and the jury that convicted him was made up of 10 white people, one Hispanic person and one black woman. He argued that the jury selection process was flawed because no black men ended up on the jury.

The judge in the case, however, disagreed and upheld the tax evasion convictions. Therefore, the man will be sentenced in September and could face a maximum of 12 years in prison -- three years on each of four counts of tax evasion.

Obviously, an attorney with experience defending people in tax evasion and other tax cases can be a tremendous asset for someone who finds himself or herself in a similar situation. The potential penalties are too high to handle the situation in a casual manner.

Source: WBEZ-FM, "Judge refuses to toss Democrat's tax convictions," June 26, 2013