A Washington businessman and campaign finance director for former mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) was sentenced Friday to 60 days in prison for failing to file tax returns in 2011.
Reuben O. Charles II, 46, pleaded guilty in January to a federal misdemeanor tax charge before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington. Chutkan ordered Charles to serve the sentence over 20 consecutive weekends, pay $127,848 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and serve three years probation.
In court papers, prosecutors said Charles avoided paying at least that amount in federal taxes due on income of $774,000 for 2010 and 2011. He also failed to file federal returns from 2003 to 2006, and was subject to three city of St. Louis tax cases, prosecutors said.
Charles was an information technology consultant to the District government and Metro who became a prominent fundraiser in Gray’s successful 2010 campaign for mayor. Charles managed Gray’s transition but fell out of the running for chief of staff after publicity surrounding a series of lawsuits and liens from his time as a venture capitalist in St. Louis.
Prosecutors said Charles appeared to resume filing certain returns when working for Gray but stopped when passed over for the chief of staff job.
Charles’s attorney Marlon C. Griffith said Charles became a target of prosecutors in the years-long probe into the illegal financing of Gray’s 2010 campaign, which U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips ended in December without charges against the former mayor.
Responding to repeated questioning became so costly that Charles began to voluntarily meet prosecutors without counsel, Griffith said, and created “massive” emotional, mental and financial stress on Charles’s family and business.
“For five long years Mr. Charles, II screamed in silence that he did nothing wrong, but felt that no one was listening to him,” Griffith wrote in court papers. “In a minuscule way Mr. Charles, II views this resolution as a tacit admission by the Government that he was not involved in any wrongdoing as it related to the Gray Campaign.”