Politics

Prosecutors Ask Judge to Throw the Book at Former Rep. Reynolds

Say Reynolds has shown ‘complete disrespect for the law, the courts, and the criminal justice system’

Former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in September after a judge convicted him on charges he failed to file tax returns for income he made while in Africa consulting for Chicago businessmen. (James Foster/Chicago Sun-Times via AP file photo)

Federal prosecutors want former Illinois Rep. Mel Reynoldsto be sentenced to two years in prison for two years for misdemeanor tax counts.

Reynolds was convicted in September of four counts of failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2012 on the hundreds of thousands of dollars he earned from business ventures in Africa.

“Such a sentence would account for (Reynolds’) history and characteristics, in particular his decades-long pattern of showing complete disrespect for the law, the courts, and the criminal justice system,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry Jonas and Georgia Alexakis in a filing, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Prosecutors say Reynolds has a history of flouting the law. In 1995 he was convicted for having sex with an underage campaign intern and trying to cover it up.

While serving that sentence, he was again convicted for illegally raising campaign contributions and defrauding banks.

Prosecutors also say given Reynolds should know better, given he was as a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard law graduate.

“He knew enough to know that he had earned substantial income as a consultant, and he knew enough to know that he should have filed tax returns reporting that income,” they wrote.

During his trial last year, Reynolds said the money was for travel expenses rather than income that was required to be reported to the IRS.

The expenses included $800 spent at Best Buy, sports tickets at Michigan State University, bills for Chicago-area pizza restaurants, and an exercise course called “Hip Hop Abs.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman is set to sentence Reynolds on April 12.

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