Former congressman sentenced for failing to file tax returns

By Ray Downs

May 10 (UPI) -- A former U.S. congressman was sentenced to six months in prison for failing to file four years of tax returns, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Melvin Reynolds, 66, a former Democratic congressman from Illinois between 1993 and 1995, was found guilty last year on four counts of willfully failing to file a federal income tax return for the years 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman sentenced Reynolds to six months in federal prison with two months of credit for time served.


"Evidence at trial showed that Reynolds received gross income in excess of the minimum amount required to file a tax return," the Justice Department said in a statement. "As a result, he was required by law to file a federal income tax return, but he willfully failed to do so."

Reynolds told reporters that he plans to leave the United States after serving his sentence.

"I'm done with America. I'm going to do this, and I'm going home -- to Africa...I've given up on America," Reynolds said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

This will be Reynolds' third prison stint.


He had previously been convicted of statutory rape in 1995, which led to his resignation from Congress. And in 1997, he was convicted of campaign and bank fraud.

In 2014, Reynolds was arrested in Zimbabwe for possessing pornography, which is illegal in the African nation.

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