William Beavers: Tax fraud charges are unfounded
July 5, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Indicted Cook County Commissioner William Beavers is defending himself against accusations of federal tax evasion.
Beavers claims federal authorities are lying and he has proof that will clear his name. He also had a few choice words for former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.
At a press conference Thursday morning, Beavers and his attorneys offered a hint on how they plan to defend the tax evasion charges. Beavers produced a document showing that he didn't need to pay taxes on money he borrowed from his campaign fund because it was a loan that he eventually repaid.
"I'm not a criminal. I haven't stolen a dime," Beavers said.
The 77-year-old commissioner has never known to hold back how he really feels. Thursday he went after the man who charged him with tax evasion, former U.S. Attorney Fitzgerald.
"For three years Fitzgerald has been hounding me," said Beavers. "I'm gonna try to hound him for the next six months, okay? He's a rooster without n#*s. That's a capon, okay?"
Five months ago, Beavers was indicted on failing to report and pay taxes on more than $220,000 Beavers allegedly took from his campaign fund and his county expense account.
Prosecutors say the former Chicago alderman used some of the money for gambling and $68,000 of it to boost his city pension fund. But Beavers says a bank deposit of $68,000 proves he paid the money back.
"It's against the law to lie to the FBI," said Beavers, "but it is not against the law to lie on you, and that is what they've been doing all the time: Lying, lying, lying."
But former federal prosecutor Jeff Cramer Says the bank deposit doesn't prove that the money Beavers took and paid back was a legitimate loan with interest. If Beavers used the money as a slush fund, Cramer says it would be considered taxable income.
"It's illustrative that they didn't come up with loan documents," said Cramer. "Clearly, if you had those, that is what you're leading with at this press conference."
Beavers says his indictment is all about retribution for what he says was his refusal to wear a wire to record conversations with Cook County Commissioner John Daley.
Cramer says the U.S. attorney's office doesn't have time for retribution.
Despite proof of a bank deposit and the harsh words for the former U.S. attorney, Cramer says, in his experience, none of that matters. Cramer says juries just look at the evidence and the law.
Beavers is scheduled to go on trial December 3.
local, sarah schulte
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