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Former Gary councilwoman Krusas asks for probation or home confinement

Former Gary City Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas is asking a federal judge to sentence her to probation or home confinement, versus prison time, for her conviction of tax evasion.

Her attorney, Scott King, filed a sentencing memorandum Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond that claims Krusas has suffered from depression since the 1960s, which played a large role in why she didn’t file a federal income tax return for 20 years.

This was on top of other financial problems she faced, including losing her home to foreclosure.

“The problem compounded, making it more and more momentous to solve; the financial difficulties, as noted above, were more varied than the tax dilemma and, to some extent, she was trapped by the public persona she exhibited as a tough, in-charge personality,” the filing says.

Along with her depression, Krusas was also recently diagnosed with lung cancer and must undergo treatment the day after her sentencing on Jan. 8. King argues that her serious health problems should factor into her sentence.

Krusas pleaded guilty earlier this year to tax evasion by hiding a $232,000 inheritance from the IRS so the government would not seize it to pay off her tax debt, which was estimated to be at least $157,000 at one point.

Federal attorneys are asking that Krusas serve prison time, arguing that her crime was based solely on greed and can be considered public corruption because she willfully didn’t pay her fair share of taxes while helping to spend everyone else’s tax dollars during her tenure on the Council.

King argues against that, however, saying her crime had nothing to do with her public office.

“The instant case is not a case of public corruption,” he says in the filing. “It is a case of a personal shortcoming fueled by mental illness, not personal or political gain.”

He also says that the depth and length of her crime is already being accounted for because the total amount she owes the IRS, including interest and penalties, has already been factored in.

By Teresa Auch Schultz tauch@post-trib.com

01/07/2014

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