Last February Cook County Commissioner William Beavers was indicted for three separate counts of filing false income tax returns. Beavers has adamantly denied any wrongdoing.
Last week, Beavers held a press conference to further emphasize his innocence as a December trial date looms, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Referencing former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who pushed to bring the charges, Beavers said, “He’s a rooster without nuts, a capon. OK? That’s what he is, a capon.”
I’ll let you look up what a capon is.
Beavers shed some light regarding his defense. In the indictment, Beavers allegedly used more than $68,000 from a campaign account in 2006 to boost his city pensions without paying income tax on the funds. At the press conference, Beavers shared bank statements reflecting that the campaign funds received was in fact a loan he repaid in 2009.
Beavers is a fighter. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes this matter to trial just for the satisfaction of victory.
Last Wednesday I wrote a brief “State of the Amazon.” Between then and now, the piece became incomplete. It’s already time for an update.
In March 2011, the Main Street Fairness Act was passed. The law expanded the definition of “physical presence.” A seller is required to collect and remit sales tax only if it is deemed to have a physical presence within the state. The new law implicated affiliate companies, many of which earn commissions for directing web surfers to an online store.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting the Main Street Fairness Act was declared unconstitutional by Cook County Circuit Judge Robert Lopez Cepero last week. The interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution limits who a state can tax, and the judge took the position the State of Illinois overstepped its authority.
I suspect the defendant, the Illinois Department of Revenue, will file an appeal if it hasn’t already.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting the Lone Star State reached an agreement with Amazon on Friday for the online retail giant to begin collecting sales tax in the state on July 1. In addition, Amazon agreed “to create at least 2,500 new jobs in Texas over the next four years and make at least $200 million in capital investments in the state.”
All parties seem to be in support of some federal solution, but that doesn’t mean anything will get done. We’ll see.
Politicians in Illinois are struggling to keep their tax affairs in straight order. Last October, the Mayor of Channahon pleaded guilty to two counts of income tax evasion.
Earlier today, William Beavers, a Commissioner of Cook County, was indicted for three separate counts for filing false income tax returns. Beavers is known for calling himself the “Hog With the Big Nuts.”
You can read the indictment here. From the U.S. Department of Justice press release:
Beavers allegedly concealed his under-reporting of income and underpayment of taxes on thousands of dollars that he converted to personal use from his campaign accounts – including more than $68,000 in personal gain on one occasion that was not reported – as well as from his county discretionary spending account. Between 2006 and 2008, Beavers allegedly paid himself more than $225,000 from three separate campaign accounts and used at least a portion of those funds for personal purposes, including gambling. In 2006, he used more than $68,000 from a campaign account to boost his city pension, and between 2006 and 2008, he used his $1,200 monthly county contingency account for personal purposes without reporting any of these funds as income on his federal tax returns, the indictment alleges.
A Chicago Tribune reporter reached out to Beavers for comment. Beavers claims he was indicted because he refused to wear a wire to assist authorities with an investigation of John Daley, a fellow Commissioner of Cook County.
“They wanted me to wire up, and I’m not wiring up. I’m no stool pigeon. It’s just not going to happen,” Beavers said.
Beavers is 77 years old. He sounds like a man who doesn’t like to get pushed around. At his age, I don’t blame him. But that’s no excuse for tax fraud. We’ll see how this plays out.
According to the website for Channahon, Illinois, one finds in the seemingly quaint village of 12,560 the following qualities: good government, good living, and good business. Sounds good.
In order to restore these qualities, the village’s leader will likely have to step down. As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Cook, the Mayor and President of Channahon, Illinois, pleaded guilty to two counts of income tax evasion earlier today. Sounds not so good.
The plea agreement details Mr. Cook’s conduct. In short, he willfully failed to file both personal and corporate income tax returns. Each count carries a maximum sentence of one year’s imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000. He faces sentencing on January 17, 2012.
Apparently, Mayor Cook would not be legally compelled to resign as a result from pleading to the misdemeanors. Ultimately, his struggle to obtain forgiveness and regain trust from the village’s residents may prove to serve a larger punishment than the one to be delivered by a federal judge early next year.