Former Illinois congressman Reynolds indicted on tax charges

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2015 12:04 PM

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Former U.S. Representative Mel Reynolds, already convicted of having sex with an underage campaign worker, was indicted again for failing to file income tax returns for 2009 through 2012, federal prosecutors said on Friday.

Reynolds, 63, who was charged on Thursday, faces up to a year in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the four counts against him, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago. A court date has not immediately available.

Reynolds, a Rhodes scholar and one-time promising star of the Democratic Party, was first elected to Congress in 1992.

In August of 1994, he was indicted for having a relationship with a 16-year-old campaign worker, though he was re-elected again in 1994 in his Chicago district without opposition.

He was convicted in 1995 on sexual assault and child pornography charges and resigned.

Before his release in 1997, he was convicted of bank fraud and misusing campaign funds for personal use and had to serve additional time. He was released in 2001.

Reynolds tried politics again in 2013, but lost a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives seat of Jesse Jackson Jr., who had resigned before pleading guilty to fraud charges.

Last year, Reynolds ran into legal trouble in Zimbabwe and was charged with possession of pornographic images and videos. The charges were later dropped, but he pleaded guilty to a visa violation, according to media accounts.

An attorney for Reynolds was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski)