Sherman W. Pratt, a former federal attorney who twice ran unsuccessfully for the Arlington County Board, pleaded guilty yesterday to two charges of submitting a false document to the Internal Revenue Service.
"I've stumbled late in life," Pratt, 57, said in an interview yesterday. "The document I submitted was not correct. It happened at a time I was under great stress."
Pratt, who blinded in his left eye during World War II and retired from the Army as a lietuenant colonel, said the mistakes occurred while he was running for the county board two years ago.
A graduate of the Arkanses Law School, Pratt worked as an attorney for the Federal Communication Commission before retiring because of multiple injuries, many of them war-related, he said.
In 1973 and 1977 Pratt ran as a Republican-endorsed candidate for the Arlington board and was defeated each time by Ellen Bozoan.
Pratt released on a $1,000 bond, will be sentenced on June 8 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He could receive up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine, according to an IRS spokesman.
Pratt, said yesterday the entire amount of tax in dispute was "less than $200" and arose out of a medical deduction he had claimed on his 1976 personal income tax return.
"I don't think they (the IRS) would have pushed the thing if I had not had the public exposure in Arlington County," said Pratt.
The false document was discovered during a routine audit of Pratt's returns, according to an IRS spokesman.
"It was a misunderstanding, something I did late at night while I was preparing for a political campaign," said Pratt. This has been a very traumatic and heartbreaking period of my life."