News and Press Releases

Former Florida State Senator Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Muriel Amanda Dawson, 55, formerly of Broward County, pled guilty earlier today to charges of felony tax evasion and failing to file a federal income tax return (Counts 2 and 5).

During today’s guilty plea, Dawson admitted that in each of the calendar years 2004 and 2005, while she was a Florida State Senator, she received substantial income from third parties. Dawson failed to file income tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service during that period. Dawson also admitted that she failed to file federal personal income tax returns for any of the years 2006 through 2008. During this time, Dawson was a Florida State Senator representing portions of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

In particular, in taxable year 2005, the defendant received total income of at least $102,896 from various sources and did not file a federal income tax return. Among the sources of additional income were: $7,200 from the Ft. Lauderdale Housing Authority; $22,600 from Friends of Children; $1,000 from Blackhawk Security; $5,000 for Alliance for Florida’s Future; $22,000 from Consulting and Communications Group, Inc.,; $15,000 from Alliance for Promoting Florida’s Future. In addition, as stated in court, Dawson received a salary from the State of Florida as a State Senator and was required to file a federal personal income tax return for tax year 2008. During today’s plea hearing, Dawson admitted to willfully failing to file a tax return for taxable year 2008.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 20, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. At sentencing, Dawson faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to five years in prison on Count 2, and one year on Count 5.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CID and FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Carlton and Julia A. Paylor.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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