Mississippi State Rep. Earle Banks Charged With Felony After Submitting False Tax Return

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By NTD Newsroom
May 11, 2023Politics
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Mississippi State Rep. Earle Banks Charged With Felony After Submitting False Tax Return
File photo of a judge's gavel. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A longtime Mississippi state lawmaker has been charged with willfully making a false statement on a tax return after allegedly failing to report more than $500,000 of income.

Democratic Rep. Earle Banks of Jackson is said to have omitted earnings from a property sale in 2018 on his tax return. According to court documents, Banks agreed to defer on his indictment, and conceded to be prosecuted on the felony charge. He is due to appear in federal court to enter a plea on May 17.

Banks, 68, is a funeral director and attorney, and has been a member of Mississippi’s House of Representatives since 1993. His attorney, Rob McDuff, said in a statement that Banks made a mistake on his tax return in 2018, failing to include a capital gain from the disposal of real estate.

“We have cooperated with the IRS and the U.S. attorney’s office as they have looked into this matter, and we will continue that cooperation in moving toward a final resolution,” McDuff said.

A sealed federal charging document against Banks was initially filed on April 14, and was unsealed on May 4.

According to the document, Banks claimed adjusted gross income of $38,237, despite having full knowledge of the real estate sale—which totalled more than $500,000.

Banks is the unopposed contender in this year’s election in Hinds County’s House District 67.

Many felony charges prohibit candidates from holding public office positions in Mississippi. However, this excludes convictions for manslaughter or violating federal tax laws. Banks is therefore eligible for re-election to public office—including to a legislative seat.

Banks had an unsuccessful run for a Mississippi Supreme Court seat in 2012.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

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