U.S. prosecutors have asked a federal judge to jail D.C. Council member Marion Barry as punishment for failing to file his 2007 tax returns.
Lawyers for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia filed a motion today arguing that by failing to file Barry had violated the terms of his probation sentence.
In 2005, Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson sentenced the former mayor to three years of probation after he was convicted of failing to file tax returns between 1999 and 2004. Two years later, prosecutors unsuccessfully tried to convince the judge to give Barry jail time after they discovered he had not filed his 2005 tax returns either. At the time, Robinson said the government lacked the evidence to prove that Barry willfully neglected to pay.
In their motion, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the prosecutors argued that Barry knew he had an obligation to file his 2007 returns, because he had asked for a time extension in order to go on a vacation to Jamaica.
“The defendant's conduct regarding Tax Year 2007 is indefensible," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Zeno. Yet again, he comes before the Court for failure to file his tax returns on time as required both by the laws of the federal government and the District of Columbia. This means that the defendant has failed to file his tax returns on time for eight of the last nine years.”
If the judge again chooses not to put Barry in prison, prosecutors have asked her to hold a court hearing during which Barry can explain his actions, and where they will seek to add two extra years of probation to his sentence.
Barry’s lawyer did not return calls for comment.