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Ex-consultant pleads guilty to tax evasion and extortion

A 40-year-old Pennsylvania man could be facing up to 10 years of incarceration when he is sentenced in July. He is one of four people who pleaded guilty to charges that followed a year of federal investigations into a scheme of alleged extortion, income tax evasion, conspiracy and more. This man was once a political consultant to elected officials in Reading and Allentown, including Allentown's mayor.

The man entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. He admitted to conspiring to commit income tax evasion and extortion in his quest to acquire campaign contributions. According to prosecutors, the former consultant used extortion, fraud and bribery to obtain substantial campaign contributions to further the political careers of his clients.

Three members of the administrative team of the mayor of Allentown had earlier pleaded guilty to federal charges. Whenever any Pennsylvania person faces federal charges, the most sensible step will be to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney will see that the rights of the accused person are protected while pursuing the best outcome allowed by the prevailing circumstances.

The initial focus of the defense will likely be the details of the charges and the prosecutors' evidence that will be offered in support of the accusations. As in this case of alleged extortion and tax evasion against the political consultant, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutors. In the time leading up to sentencing, the attorney will likely prepare for presenting mitigating circumstances.

Source: reuters.com, "Ex-Pennsylvania political consultant pleads guilty to extortion", David Dekok, April 21, 2016

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