Prosecutors charged a top congressional staffer Wednesday with filing a false security clearance form nearly a year after he pled guilty to failing to pay taxes, officials said.
The Justice Department alleges that Isaac Lanier Avant, chief of staff to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Democratic staff director for the Homeland Security Committee, “willfully made a false statement” on security clearance forms in 2008 and 2013, officials said in a news release.
Prosecutors allege that Avant responded “no” to questions on the form that asked if he failed to file or pay federal, state or other taxes.
Avant pled guilty to a misdemeanor in November 2016, when he admitted he failed to file taxes in 2009. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dropped charges that he failed to file in 2010 and 2013.
In January, Avant was sentenced to four months in prison, to be served by 30 days incarceration and followed up with 12 months of weekend imprisonment, according to prosecutors. He also received one year of supervised release and was ordered to pay $149,962 to the IRS.
The latest charge carries a statutory maximum prison term of five years.