Attorney sentenced for not filing tax returns

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A bankruptcy attorney who didn't file tax returns for 2005 and 2006 was sentenced Friday to three years on probation.

"It's very humbling being on this side of the legal system," said Robert L. Williams, 50, just before U.S. District Judge Gary L. Lancaster imposed the sentence.

Mr. Williams, of New Kensington, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of the misdemeanor failing to file income tax returns. His attorney, Charles Porter, said Mr. Williams relied upon his wife to prepare returns and "didn't know that she didn't prepare them properly."

He finally filed the returns this week. The IRS previously calculated that he owes $130,777.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Conway said Mr. Williams "was engaged in a real estate fraud scam in 2005 ... so he could live the lifestyle he wanted to live." He sought a sentence of 18 to 24 months in prison.

Mr. Williams was not charged with fraud. His wife, attorney Lisa Gerideau-Williams, has pleaded not guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and tax charges.

Mr. Williams is not contesting a state court charge of misapplication of funds and expects to be sentenced to state probation.

Judge Lancaster ordered payment of the taxes due, without interest, but with a $25,000 fine.



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