Benton, IL (KSDK) - A 49-year-old Swansea, Illinois man was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in federal prison following conviction on a litany of charges connected to tax evasion and voter fraud, US Attorney Stephen Wigginton said.
According to court documents, Michael Collins was found guilty of tax evasion for 2003, tax evasion for 2004, tax evasion for 2005, failure to file federal income tax return for 2003, failure to file federal income tax return for 2004, failure to file federal income tax return 2005, election fraud in March 2006, and election fraud in February 2008.
Collins will spend 50 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release. As conditions of the supervised release, Collins will be ordered to pay restitution to the IRS over $342,300. Collins is also prohibited from serving in public office, or from holding an elected public office, while on supervised release.
Michael Collins committed tax evasion and attempted to conceal his income by commingling business and personal assets and submitting false certified payrolls, among other office infractions. He had not submitted a federal tax return in 13 years at the time he became aware of the investigation. He also hadn't paid Illinois state income taxes for 22 years.
In addition, Collins gave a false address to establish eligibility to vote in East St. Louis, even though he lived in Swansea. He was even elected to be a precinct committeeman in East St. Louis after getting family members to sign petitions to get him on the ballot. Prosecutors said Collins falsely reporter his family members' addresses on the petitions.