Tax Fraud: Elected public officials are an integral part of democracy in the United States. Typically, these individuals are held to higher ethical and legal standards. However, even elected officials can make mistakes which can result in legal problems. This is what is happening with former Georgia State Rep. Tyrone Brooks Jr. who was charged with various white collar crimes.
Brooks was charged in federal court with filing false tax returns, tax fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud. He was indicted in May 2013. The representative had been accused of misappropriation of funds which were supposed to go to charity. Instead, the man allegedly used the funds to pay for family and personal expenses.
Reportedly, he had allegedly solicited over $1 million worth of contributions during the period between the mid-1990s and 2012. He told individual and corporate donors that the funds would be used to help combat illiteracy in under-served communities as well as various other causes. The allegations involved the defendant’s relationship with a tax-exempt charity which Brooks had founded in 1990. Also, the allegations involved his role as president of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials.
He ended up pleading guilty to one of white collar crimes charged with regard to the filing of a false tax return. He also entered a plea of no contest to multiple counts of wire and mail fraud. A client may want to consider doing this in some circumstances in order to minimize penalties or even avoid time behind bars. However, there may be some instances when a client will want to fight the charges of wrongdoing in the court of law in Georgia. As this case now proceeds to a sentencing hearing, the defense team is likely focused on convincing the court to impose a sentence at the lower end of the applicable federal sentencing guidelines.
Source: timefreepress.com, “Former Georgia state Rep. Tyrone Brooks Jr. pleads guilty to fraud and tax charges“, April 9, 2015
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