Federal officials indicted the chief of staff of a Democratic member of Congress for lying on a security form about not paying federal taxes.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that Issac Lanier Avant, who currently works for Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, made false statements on security forms after he failed to pay income tax from 2009 to 2013 when he had a nearly $170,000 salary.
Avant pleaded guilty to not paying his taxes in November, and was sentenced to four months imprisonment in January and a $149,962 fine. He is allowed to serve his sentence irregularly, reporting to prison on the weekends for a year to make up the four-month sentence, the Washington Examiner reported in January.
Under the new charges, prosecutors say Avant “willfully made a false statement” on a government security form by responding “no” to a question that asked if the applicant had paid federal taxes in “the past seven years.”
Avant paid no income taxes between 2008 and 2012 because he allegedly “caused a form to be filed with his employer that falsely claimed he was exempt from federal income taxes,” prosecutors explain.
If convicted, Avant faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years, the DOJ said.
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