HAMMOND | The second Gary City Council member in as many years is accused by prosecutors of violating federal tax laws.
Hammond-based U.S. Attorney David Capp announced Monday that Gary City Councilman Ronier Scott, 42, is charged in Hammond federal court with two counts of willfully failing to file income tax returns for 2008 and 2009. Scott signed a plea agreement filed in conjunction with the charges, both misdemeanors, court records show.
Scott admits in the plea agreement he chose not to file federal returns for income he earned in 2008 and 2009 through his position on the Gary City Council and while working at a business owned by a family member.
As part of Scott's plea agreement, he will cooperate with Internal Revenue Service officials in determining and paying all back taxes, penalties and interest he owes the federal government, court documents state.
The agreement also indicates Scott's wife will not be prosecuted for any income tax violations occurring between 2001 and 2011.
"He takes full responsibility for his actions," Scott's defense attorney, Kerry Connor, said Monday.
Connor said her client is scheduled for a formal plea hearing Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court in Hammond.
Scott's charges follow a third delay announced earlier this month in the sentencing of a former Gary city councilwoman in a separate tax evasion case.
Former Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8, according to court records.
Krusas was charged in October 2012 and pleaded guilty in April 2013 to felony tax evasion. According to court records, she hadn't filed tax returns since 1991 and didn't pay taxes on a $232,680 inheritance. She resigned from the Gary City Council that same month.
Previous sentencing hearing dates for Krusas were pushed back because of medical treatments and a medical exam Krusas underwent this fall. Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Krusas to 12 to 18 months in prison, according to court records.