Saturday, February 23, 2008
The government was again sent the message to stick to tax charges. The brother of the former mayor of Philadelphia was acquitted of mail and wire fraud charges (See Phil. Inquirer here). After a three day deliberation, the jury found T. Milton Street Sr. (also a former state senator) guilty of three counts of failure to file income tax returns. Other tax counts resulted in a hung jury.
As previously discussed here, this case has similarities with the prosecution against Wesley Snipes in that both were charged and acquitted of substantive charges beyond the failure to file taxes. In both cases, the individuals accused of crimes was only found guilty of misdemeanor tax offenses for some of the years in question. And in both cases the jury did not immediately reach a verdict. This last factor was also exhibited in the case of U.S. v. Cheek, where the accused represented himself pro se and kept the jury out for some time.
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Peter Goldberger)