HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A sweeping indictment released Thursday accuses a
Hammond city councilman of accepting kickbacks to steer city contracts
toward a local business, a Gary councilwoman of failing to file tax returns
for 20 years, and others of filing faulty tax returns.
Councilman Alfonso Salinas, Gary Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas and East
Chicago Councilman Juda Parks were all indicted on charges of failing to
file tax returns. Salinas also is facing bribery charges.
Merrillville town court clerk, the former head of the East Chicago library
and a Munster contractor also were indicted following an investigation by
the U.S. attorney into tax fraud.
"Failure to file
tax returns and the filing of false tax returns by public officials will not
be tolerated. Those who disobey the tax laws will be held accountable,” said
Richard Weber, chief of the IRS’ criminal investigation unit.
Salinas, 52, a
city council member in Hammond since 1995, is accused of steering $310,000
toward a Munster tree-cutting service in exchange for a $10,500 kickback. He
is charged with receipt of a bribe by an agent of a local government
receiving federal funds, while David Johnson, owner of Dave’s Tree Service,
was charged with payment of a bribe to an agent of a local government
receiving federal funds.
According to the
indictment, Salinas accepted at least $10,500 from Johnson, 56, as payment
for hiring his company to work in Hammond. Salinas also is charged with four
counts of willful failure to file tax returns for tax years 2006 through
left for Salinas at his city council office and for Johnson at his company
by The Associated Press weren’t returned.
alleges that Krusas, a Gary City Council member since 2000, has failed to
file tax returns since 1991, and allegedly committed several acts of evasion
in connection with an inheritance of $230,000. A message left at the
69-year-old’s office seeking comment also wasn’t immediately returned.
Parks, 40, an
East Chicago police officer and city councilman since 2008, was charged with
two counts of failure to file income tax returns for the tax years 2008 and
Parks signed a
plea agreement that was filed in conjunction with the indictment admitting
his guilt to all charges and agreeing to cooperate with the government.
Parks declined comment on the charges.
director of the East Chicago Public Library, Manuel Montalvo, is charged
with filing false tax returns for the tax years 2009 and 2010. The
indictment alleges he overstated unreimbursed business expenses and
A listed phone
number couldn’t be found for Montalvo on Thursday.
Merrillville Town Court Clerk Virlissa Crenshaw of East Chicago is charged
with theft from a local government entity and filing a false tax return. The
indictment says the charge involves theft of cash bonds while working for
the town court.
a plea agreement that was filed with the indictment admitting her guilt to
all charges. The loss to the town of Merrillville is $176,763, according to
the court documents.
A call to
Crenshaw’s home was met with a message saying the number could not be
reached at this time.