Isaac Lanier Avant, left, Chief of Staff to Democrat Bennie Thompson, D-Miss
By Diana Stancy at Conservative Review
A top congressional staffer was charged with five counts for willfully failing to file his income taxes from 2009-2013, the Department of Justice said in a press release Tuesday.
Isaac Lanier Avant, chief of staff to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. , and staff director for the Homeland Security Committee, earned over $170,000 annually in personal income during the five-year period and previously filed a form in 2005 inaccurately, erroneously claiming he was exempt from federal income taxes.
“Avant did not have any federal tax withheld from his paycheck until the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) mandated that his employer begin withholding in January 2013,” the DOJ said.
If convicted, Avant, 38, could face up to five years in prison (one for each count), followed by a period of supervised release and financial punishment.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Rep. Thompson came to his aide’s defense, pointing to Congress’ payroll department for the alleged misunderstanding. “The House of Representatives Office of Payroll and Benefits handles the personal salary payments and tax withholdings of Mr. Avant and other House staffers. After learning of these accusations, I spoke to Mr. Avant and he assured me that when the proper forum is provided to him, he will fully explain this situation.”
Avant’s court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.
A tip of the hat today to “B-Squared” for curating most of the images below.
… And now, in closing: