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Former councilman begins jail sentence for tax evasion

Facing criminal tax charges can have major repercussions on a person's life. This can be seen in the case of a South Carolina man who recently began a prison sentence for tax evasion.

The case involves a former city councilmember from Columbia, South Carolina. He served on the city's council for 27 years.

The man was accused of tax offenses. The man allegedly provided the IRS with misleading statements regarding his taxes. He also reportedly structured many of his withdrawals and deposits of cash in such a way that they would not trigger IRS reporting requirements. Finally, he supposedly failed to pay thousands of dollars worth of taxes.

The man faced charges for tax evasion. He eventually pled guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that he made with prosecutors. In October of 2010, he was sentenced to serve a year and a day in prison in connection to his alleged tax crimes. Last Wednesday, he began his serving prison term at a medium security federal prison in Williamsburg County, South Carolina.

This case demonstrates a couple of things. First, it shows how prosecutors will sometimes use plea agreements. These agreements will often contain promises of leniency from the prosecution.

This case also demonstrates how being accused and convicted of tax offenses can have serious consequences. In this case, a man accused of tax evasion went from being a member of a city council to serving time in a federal prison. These potential consequences underscore the importance of being represented by a qualified criminal defense attorney when one is facing criminal tax charges.

Source: WLTX, "Former Columbia Councilman E.W. Cromartie Reports to Prison," Tony Santaella, 27 Jan 2011

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