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Former Brooklyn Councilmember Deutsch sentenced to three months for tax evasion

July 29, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
Chaim Deutsch. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Former Brooklyn City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch was sentenced to three months in prison on Thursday for failing to pay more than $82,000 in taxes related to his personal real estate management firm.

Deutsch, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion in April and was expelled from the City Council soon afterward, will also have to pay a fine of $5,000 as well as the full amount of taxes he evaded with interest.

The sentence was made by Manhattan Federal Judge James Cott. “A public official who filed false tax returns for three years must go to jail,” Judge Cott said.

According to the New York Post, since he was expelled from the Council, Deutsch has worked as a property manager at a Brooklyn apartment house.

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Deutsch, a Democrat who represented Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gravesend and Midwood, was an outspoken advocate for his Orthodox Jewish community and was head of the City Council’s Jewish Caucus. He was, however, often criticized by the city’s gay community because of his opposition to same-sex marriage and other gay-related issues.

When Deutsch was expelled, City Council President Corey Johnson said in a statement, “Mr. Deutsch confessed to a crime and violated his oath of office. He is no longer a member of the City Council.”
According to the Post, Deutsch on Thursday told the judge that his arrest and guilty plea “were the hardest, most difficult parts of my life.”

Margaret Garnett, commissioner of the New York City Department of Investigation said, “Public servants only serve themselves when they break the law while purporting to be leaders upholding integrity and high standards. Now, this defendant rightly pays a high cost for his tax fraud: conviction, the loss of his seat on the New York City Council, three months of incarceration, a $5,500 fine, and repaying the IRS the taxes he owes plus interest.”

DOI worked with the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division on this investigation.

This matter was prosecuted by the Public Corruption Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, specifically Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli J. Mark.

Deutsch was first elected to the City Council in 2013.

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