Gary City Council member will plead guilty to not filing tax returns
BY TERESA AUCH SCHULTZ firstname.lastname@example.org December 9, 2013 12:34PM
Ronier Scott, a member of the Gary City Council, was sentenced to three months in prison for failing to file federal income tax returns. | Post-Tribune File Photo
Updated: January 11, 2014 6:17AM
Another Gary City Council member is being charged with tax crimes in documents filed Monday in federal court.
Councilman Ronier Scott has already agreed to plead guilty to two counts of failure to file a federal income tax return. The charges and plea deal were both filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Hammond.
“He takes full responsibility for his conduct and is prepared to accept the consequences of his actions,” said Kerry Connor, his attorney.
Scott could not be reached for comment. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson declined comment.
According to the records, Scott, who represents the city’s Sixth District, did not file his returns for the years 2008 and 2009 until after he knew he was being investigated. The plea agreement says the loss to the government is somewhere between $30,000 to $80,000.
Connor said it has not been determined what Scott still owes the government and that part of his plea deal calls for him to cooperate with the IRS.
Scott faces up to one year in prison on the charge, although federal attorneys agreed in the plea deal to recommend he serve the minimum of whatever range the sentencing guidelines recommend.
They also will not charge Scott’s wife, Denine, with any crimes for the tax years of 2001 through 2011.
Scott’s former council member Marilyn Krusas was charged last year with tax evasion and has since pleaded guilty to hiding a $232,000 inheritance from the federal government so that the IRS would not seize it to pay off her debt that she accumulated from not filing her income tax returns for 20 years.
She is set to be sentenced Jan. 8.
Another local politician, Juda Parks, an East Chicago City Councilman, was charged at the same time as Krusas with the same charge made against Scott. Parks did not have to resign his seat because it was a misdemeanor charge. It was unclear Monday if Scott would also be able to retain his council seat.
He has previously been linked to another local convict, Jerry Haymon, who pleaded guilty to a mortgage fraud case that involved four Gary houses, including one that he received city money from Scott to renovate.
A hearing at which Scott would officially enter his guilty plea has not been set, according to court records.