"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Ex-Illinois Representative Mel Reynolds to Serve Four Years for Tax Fraud


Melvin Reynolds, 65, has been convicted on four counts of tax evasion. Over four consecutive years, he failed to file federal taxes for more than $400,000 he earned while doing consulting work in Africa for two Chicago businessman. Reynolds told United States District Judge Robert Gettleman, the money he was bringing home was only to cover his travel and other expense costs.

The court system is not new to the ex-congressman as this is his third conviction. Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1955, after being convicted of statutory rape. He was also found guilty of fraudulently raising campaign funds in 1997 and served 6 1/2 years in prison.

In the tax fraud case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry Jonas referred a radio interview Reynolds did in 2012. Jonas wanted to comprehend how the ex-Congressman was earning $2,500 as a consultant in Africa and yet contends that all of the money he earned was not expenses.

While on bond awaiting this hearing he went to Africa, which broke the bail agreement with the court. He claimed the trip was to take his bed-ridden daughter to receive medical help. His case could not have gotten worse, photos of his daughter showed her condition was not as bad as it was portrayed by Reynolds.

“She recently tweeted that she might be moving to Berlin,” said Jonas. This evidence was presented along with the documentation of tax fraud.

The sentencing hearing date has not been set yet. Reynolds is out on bond and wearing a location device on his ankle. He told the judge that he hoped to move back to South Africa because he cannot afford the place he was living in Chicago.

“After about a week or so, I am not going to be able to stay where I am” stated Reynold. Since he violated his bond last year, prosecutors claimed he is a flight risk.

During the last trail day, prosecutors presented evidence that Reynold’s financial documents stated he has $1 million in savings. He claims it is set aside for emergencies. As a result, his passport has been turned over to the court. This way he cannot flea and will be present for his sentencing hearing and to serve his time in prison.

Written by Kwjuana Owens
Edited by Cathy Milne


The Chicago Tribune: Judge finds Mel Reynolds guilty on tax charges, marking his third conviction
The Chicago Tribune: Prosecutors: Mel Reynolds earned more than $400,000 consulting but paid no taxes
U.S. News & World Report: Judge Finds Ex-US Rep. Mel Reynolds Guilty of Tax Charges
NBC Chicago: Reynolds’s Daughter Travel Pictures

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of 401k 2012’s Flickr Page – Creative Common License

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