Former state Rep. Eddie Acevedo gets 6 months in prison for cheating on taxes in case tied to Madigan probe

Court records connect Acevedo’s indictment to the investigation of former Speaker Michael Madigan and ComEd. His name appeared in a subpoena sent to Madigan’s office in July 2020, the same day prosecutors accused ComEd of a bribery scheme.

SHARE Former state Rep. Eddie Acevedo gets 6 months in prison for cheating on taxes in case tied to Madigan probe
Ex-state Rep. Edward Acevedo in a 2013 photo.

Ex-state Rep. Edward Acevedo in a 2013 photo.

AP file

Insisting that people who make laws and enforce laws have “a particular responsibility to comply with those laws,” a federal judge Wednesday handed a six-month prison sentence to former state Rep. Edward “Eddie” Acevedo for dodging $37,000 in taxes over three years.

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The case against Acevedo, who is also a former Chicago police officer, is tied to the same investigation that led to this month’s indictment of former Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan.

Before he learned his sentence, Acevedo told U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly his behavior did not represent “the way I brought my boys up to be . . . They expected better from me, and I let them down.”

“I deeply regret my actions,” Acevedo said. 

Acevedo’s sentencing is the latest in a recent run of federal court events relating to public officials in Illinois. In six weeks, federal prosecutors have secured the conviction of then-Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th), a guilty plea from former state Sen. Thomas Cullerton, the racketeering indictment of Madigan and a 13-month prison sentence for former Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd). Ex-Crestwood Mayor Louis Presta faces sentencing next week.

Acevedo, 58, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in December, admitting he failed as a self-employed consultant to keep sufficient accounting records and shorted the government by $37,380 in taxes for 2015, 2017 and 2018. Kennelly ordered him to pay that amount in restitution. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reported in June 2020 that Acevedo had been drawn into the feds’ ongoing corruption probe that ultimately led to Madigan’s indictment March 2. Prosecutors in February 2021 hit Acevedo and his sons, Michael and Alex, with separate indictments. 

Michael Acevedo is set to go to trial April 4. Alex Acevedo faces trial in June. 

Court records tie the Acevedo indictments to the cases against Madigan, members of his inner circle and ComEd. Edward Acevedo’s name appeared in a subpoena sent to Madigan’s office in July 2020. Alex Acevedo’s defense attorney has said in court filings that Alex Acevedo met with prosecutors in February 2020, and that more than 75% of the questions asked were related to Madigan.

Kennelly on Wednesday drilled down into the specifics of Edward Acevedo’s plea agreement, insisting that defense attorney Gabrielle Sansonetti identify the company that paid Acevedo $82,533 in 2017. Though it’s identified only as “Company A” in the document, Sansonetti told the judge it was Apex Consulting.

Acevedo made a total of $130,775 in 2017 but did not file a tax return, according to his plea agreement. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amarjeet Bhachu sought a sentence of up to a year for Acevedo and argued Wednesday that Acevedo “should have known better.” Though Sansonetti asked for probation, Bhachu said, “Why do you bother paying your taxes if, at the end of the day, there isn’t much in the way of any consequence?”

Sansonetti pushed back on the idea that probation, which generally involves restrictions on a defendant’s freedom, is not a consequence. She also said Acevedo served “honorably” as a police officer and legislator, and that should weigh in favor of a lighter sentence. 

But Kennelly said most people willingly pay their taxes, and not doing so is “a serious thing even when it’s done by an ordinary Jane or Joe.” 

He said it’s “more serious when it’s done by somebody who’s in Mr. Acevedo’s shoes.”

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