* Jon Seidel at the Sun-Times live-tweeted former Sen. Terry Link’s court hearing today…
Link’s plea agreement anticipates his cooperation with federal prosecutors. A source has already identified him as the senator who wore a wire against then-Rep. Luis Arroyo. He has denied it.
A prosecutor says Link’s income in 2016 was about $358,000 even though he claimed it was $264,450.
#BREAKING: Longtime Illinois lawmaker Terry Link pleads guilty to filing a false tax return. His plea comes nearly a year after he denied being the unnamed senator who wore a wire on then-Rep. Luis Arroyo in exchange for leniency in court.
Link’s attorney clarifies, for the record, an agreement with prosecutors: The charges in Link’s case are unrelated to his employment as a state senator.
A few more details on Link: Of his 2016 income, he spent $73,000 on personal expenses from an account controlled by his political campaign. His false return in 2016 cost the IRS $25,913 and the IL DOR $3,520.
Link also filed false tax returns from 2012-2015.
The agreement with the feds about the charges being unrelated to his Senate service likely protects his pension.
*** UPDATE *** From the US Attorney…
Former Illinois State Sen. TERRANCE P. LINK pleaded guilty today to a federal tax charge and admitted willfully underreporting his income for several years.
Link admitted in a plea agreement that he willfully underreported his income on his tax returns for the calendar years 2012 through 2016. The conduct caused total losses to the IRS of at least $71,133, and to the Illinois Department of Revenue of at least $11,527, the plea agreement states. For the calendar year 2016, Link admitted that he underreported approximately $93,859, approximately $73,159 of which was money from a campaign fund – Friends of Terry Link – that Link spent on personal expenses, the plea agreement states.
Link, 73, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return, which is punishable by up to three years in federal prison. He agreed to pay restitution of $71,133 to the IRS, and $11,527 to the Illinois Department of Revenue.
U.S. District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., did not immediately set a sentencing date. A status hearing was set for March 30, 2021, at 9:00 a.m.
The guilty plea was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Stetler and James P. Durkin.