Former Florida Legislator Faces Tax Evasion Charges
Mandy Dawson, a former legislator in South Florida, was arrested recently on charges of federal tax evasion. The FBI had been investigating Dawson since at least 2009 and made the arrest in July at her home in Daytona Beach.
Dawson has been charged with failing to pay nearly $25,000 in income taxes over the course of two years while she was in office. According to the indictment, Dawson failed to pay income taxes on $92,324 in 2004 and on $102,896 2005. The charges also state that she failed to file income tax returns for the years 2006 to 2008.
Facing Severe Punishment
If she is convicted of all five of the charges against her, Dawson could face up to 13 years in prison. Each count of tax evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years, while each count failing to file a tax return is punishable by up to one year in prison.
The recent arrest was not Dawson's first run-in with the law. In 2002 the former senator was arrested for felony prescription drug fraud after allegedly altering a prescription for painkillers, but the charges were dropped when she completed a pretrial drug treatment program - standard procedure for first time offenders.
Dawson was also subjected to law enforcement scrutiny when a 2007 federal public corruption probe revealed that she had allegedly receiving $82,000 in secret payments from lobbyist Alan Mendelsohn. Dawson was never formally charged with any wrongdoing in connection to that case, and it remains unclear if the recent arrest was in any way linked to the Mendelsohn investigation.
An Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love is facing tax evasion charges, contact an Orlando criminal defense attorney. A defense lawyer, experienced in criminal tax defense, can assess your case and help you protect your rights. For more information, contact an attorney today.