Illinois lawmaker pleads guilty to tax
charge; faces up to a year in prison
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[August 05, 2014]
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois state
Representative La Shawn K. Ford, who was charged two years ago with bank
fraud, pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to a substantially less
serious misdemeanor charge of filing a false 2007 tax return.
Ford, 42, had been accused in late 2012 of far more serious
charges that he had submitted false income information in applying
for a $500,000 credit line. He had faced up to 30 years in prison if
Ford, a Democrat, pleaded guilty to misstating the cost of a Chicago
property he sold, lowering his tax liability by $3,782.
Ford, who is up for re-election this year, faces up to a year in
prison and a $100,000 fine. He will be sentenced Nov. 7, after the
Nov. 4 election.
The prosecutor's office refused to comment on why the charge was
The Illinois Constitution disqualifies anyone convicted of felony,
bribery, perjury or other "infamous crime" from holding elected
office, but political experts said this is unlikely to apply in
His attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, said Ford would be able to
remain in office, according to the Chicago Tribune. Durkin was not
immediately available for comment.
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Ford should win re-election in his heavily Democratic Chicago
district if allowed to remain on the ballot, said Dick Simpson, a
political science professor with the University of Illinois at
Illinois and Chicago have a long history of political corruption,
with numerous local, county and state officials facing federal
charges in recent years.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Dan Grebler)
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