A New York town councilman was taken into custody on March 31 and charged with tax evasion, wire fraud, failing to file a return or pay tax and making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns. Allegedly the man owes $250,000 in taxes and diverted $800,000 of an employer’s revenue.

Prosecutors claim that over two years, the man diverted legal fees from the law firm that employed him into a consulting business he had set up. They also said that he filed three years of fraudulent tax returns.

The charges of tax evasion carry maximum penalties of five years. The maximum sentence for making and subscribing to false corporate tax returns is three years, failing to file a tax return carries a penalty of up to one year and the wire fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years. However, the man’s attorney says that the charges are related to tax returns the man has already amended and that he is being targeted because he is a public official.

People who are being questioned in a white collar crime investigation might want to consult an attorney even if they do not believe that they are a target of the investigation. An investigation might begin in this way, and theymight not know they may be incriminating themselves. Furthermore, some people might be under the impression that a white collar crime will not carry a heavy prison sentence, but this is not the case. An attorney might assist clients who are involved in an investigation and help them prepare a defense if necessary.

Source: Garden City Patch, “Hempstead Town Councilman Ed Ambrosino Arrested On Wire Fraud, Tax Evasion Charges“, Alex Costello, March 31, 2017