Alleged Illegal Use of Campaign Funds lead to Tax Fraud Violations
The defense strategy of Cook County Commissioner William Beavers took a hit in a federal Chicago courtroom when an Internal Revenue Services agent testified against him in the ongoing tax fraud trial.
Beavers is currently facing prosecution for tax law violations which allege that he used $225,000 in campaign funds for personal use - including gambling - and failed to report the money as income on his taxes. The Commissioner has argued that he took out the funds as a loan and intended to repay the campaign. However, the agent, who testified that Beavers wrote roughly 101 checks to himself from the campaign between 2006 and 2008, said that he was unable to find any evidence that Beavers planned to repay the funds. He also noted that the campaign's bookkeeping still couldn't account for $30,000 claimed by the commissioner.
Evidence shows that Beavers cashed a number of checks - ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 - immediately before playing slots at a number of casinos or on the days that followed his gambling losses.
Beavers pleaded not guilty to four counts of tax fraud and, if convicted, faces three years in prison for each count.