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EC councilman avoids jail time in IRS tax case

JudParks. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

Juda Parks. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media

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East Chicago councilman Juda Parks received two years’ probation for pleading guilty to two counts of failure to file a tax return on Monday afternoon at U.S. District Courthouse in Hammond.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich handed down the sentence for Parks, who entered a plea agreement after he was indicted last fall.

Parks, 40, didn’t file income tax returns in 2008 and 2009. Rodovich ordered him to pay $15,160 in restitution to the federal government. The amount includes what he owed for not filing his 2010 federal tax return, and a $2,050 fine. He will repay the money in monthly installments.

Parks is an East Chicago police officer, and he is still a councilman because the charges were misdemeanors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip Benson said the government recommended lowering Parks’ sentence due to his cooperation with prosecutors. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Parks will work with federal prosecutors, including testifying before grand jury proceedings.

Parks’ attorney John Cantrell said his client understood he had made an error and accepted responsibility for his actions. According to the sentence, Parks cannot open any additional lines of credit during his probation period.



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