Politicans in Tax Trouble Heading to ClubFed

Nicholas Blase was the mayor of Niles, Illinois for nearly 50 years. Niles is a suburb just northwest of Chicago. Growing up, I was in Niles Township; had my parents remained in the Chicagoland area, I would have attended Niles West High School. And Mr. Blase was the mayor of Niles while I lived in nearby Lincolnwood.

Mr. Blase, “a longtime suburban Democratic Party powerbroker,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times, acting like many Chicago area politicians. He told business owners to pay up or get out. And pay they did to a friend’s business firm. Mr. Blase got 25% as a commission. Somehow, the illegally gotten gains managed to avoid his tax returns.

Mr. Blase was charged in 2006 with mail and tax fraud. He pleaded guilty last year. He was sentenced on Friday to a year and a day at ClubFed.

Meanwhile, another political scandal is ending in Philadelphia. Howard Cain was the top political aide to Democratic State Senator Vincent Fumo. Mr. Fumo was found guilty last year on 137 corruption counts. (The government is currently appealing Mr. Fumo’s 55 month sentence as too lenient.) A key witness in Mr. Fumo’s trial was Mr. Cain. Mr. Cain, though, had his own tax troubles. He admitted that he didn’t report $400,000 in tax (on $1.6 million of income) to the IRS. Mr. Cain was sentenced to ten months at ClubFed. He must also make restitution of $1,021,499.

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