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Former White Hall mayor pleads guilty to tax charge

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Former White Hall Mayor John Jackson pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return, the United States Department of Justice reported on Friday.

Jackson pleaded before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Walker in the U.S. District Court in Montgomery, The U.S. Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Services announced.

The report cited court documents according to which Jackson admitted filing a false joint 2004 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, that did not report all the income earned by Jackson and his spouse. He also admitted to filing false joint Individual Tax Returns, Form 1040, for 2005 and 2006 that also did not include all the income of he and his spouse.

While the report stated sentencing has not been scheduled, Jackson faces a maximum of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the loss resulting from his offense.

Jackson was previously sentenced in December of 2009 to a one-year suspended sentence and two years probation for the misdemeanor charge of using his office for public gain and not allowed to run for office for two years, according to Lowndes County District Attorney John Andrews.

Hank Sanders represented Jackson in both state and federal court.

He said of the U.S. District pleading, “This is connected with the plea that former mayor Jackson entered earlier in state court in Lowndes County.”

He said the town of White Hall owed Jackson some money. But when the money came in, “He got his money rather than going through the regular process. So he ended up pleading guilty in the Lowndes County Circuit to a misdemeanor because the charge said it was an unintentional crime.”

Sanders said the IRS examined that and that’s the bulk of what the IRS is charging him with. He said, “It sprang from that.”

Sanders said, “It is one of those things that everything that is right is not legal and everything that is legal is not right.”

Special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigations investigated the U.S. Justice Department case were: Michael Boteler of the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division. Southern Criminal Enforcement Section, and Todd Brown, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama handled the case.