Brooklyn Boro

Southern Brooklyn Councilmember Deutsch pleads guilty to tax fraud

April 22, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Chaim Deutsch. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Brooklyn Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Brighton Beach-Manhattan Beach-Sheepshead Bay-Homecrest-Midwood) pleaded guilty on Thursday to filing a false tax return in connection with funds he received from his real estate management firm.

He entered his plea before U.S Magistrate Judge James L. Cott in U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Manhattan.

Deutsch, who has served on the New York City Council since 2014, was the sole owner of Chasa Management, Inc., a real estate management business.  

In or around March 2016, Deutsch filed a personal tax return for calendar year 2015 that included false and fraudulent information about his income and business expenses in connection with operating Chasa Management, according to court documents.  

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In total, during the tax years 2013 through 2015, Deutsch evaded $82,076 in taxes to the IRS due to his failure to properly pay taxes on his income from Chasa Management.  Effective Jan, 1, 2017, New York City Council members were prohibited from earning most outside income.

Deutsch, 52, pleaded guilty to a single count of filing a false tax return for the tax year 2015 and agreed to restitution in the amount of at least $82,076 plus interest.  He is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Cott on July 29, 2021, at 10 a.m.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Audrey Strauss said:  “New York City Council Member Chaim Deutsch admitted today that he defrauded the IRS in connection with his real estate business.  As an elected official and community leader, Deutsch had a particular responsibility to follow the law.  Instead, over a multi-year period, Deutsch concealed his true business income to avoid paying his fair share of taxes.”  

Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett said:  “It is dispiriting when a sitting City Councilmember is convicted of a crime.  Rather than set an example of integrity and fidelity to the rule of law, this city councilman’s actions placed personal advantage over the public interest and undermined public trust in elected officials.”  

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli J. Mark is in charge of the prosecution.

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