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Former Columbia Councilman pleads for leniency

Oct 14, 2010 6:00:00 PM - thestate.com
A federal court filing on behalf of former Columbia City Councilman E.W. Cromartie includes a request that a federal judge agree to his plea agreement and asks for a payment plan for the $58,000 he owes in back taxes.

The filings also include letters from 18 people, who ask the judge to consider Cromartie's contributions to the community when making his decision. The letter writers include Cromartie's wife, daughter and son as well as City Council members Sam Davis and Tameika Isaac Devine. Others who sent letters are S.C. Rep. Leon Howard, D-Richland, the presidents of Benedict College and Allen University and other prominent members of the city's African-American community.

Cromartie pleaded guilty in April to federal tax evasion and structuring bank deposits to avoid federal reporting requirements. Prosecutors said Cromartie did not pay employment taxes on his law firm or liquor store and lied to investigators about it. He also transferred the title of his home to a private company to avoid having it seized by the IRS.

As for the structuring charges, federal law requires anyone making a deposit of $10,000 or more to report it to the IRS. However, Cromartie divided payments from his law firm's escrow account into smaller amounts so he could avoid the reporting requirements.

Cromarties sentencing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court at the Matthew J. Perry Courthouse on Richland Street.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)