Son of former state Rep. Eddie Acevedo is sentenced to one month in federal tax case

Michael Acevedo pleaded guilty to federal charges in December, a year after his father entered his own guilty plea. His brother, Alex Acevedo, is awaiting sentencing.

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Edward Acevedo

Ex-state Rep. Edward Acevedo, shown in 2013, was sentenced to six months in prison for tax fraud. His son Michael was sentenced on tax charges Wednesday. Another son, Alex, was found guilty of federal tax counts in January and is awaiting sentencing.

Associated Press

The lobbyist son of former state Rep. Edward “Eddie” Acevedo was sentenced Wednesday to a month in federal prison on federal tax charges.

Michael Acevedo pleaded guilty in 2021 to misdemeanor charges of failing to file tax returns from 2016 to 2018, years in which he sometimes made six figures as a Springfield lobbyist.

Acevedo, his father and his brother, Alex, were each charged in separate cases for tax counts that likely would have gone unnoticed but for a sprawling probe of corruption in the state capital that ultimately snared former House Speaker Michael Madigan, said Acevedo’s attorney, Thomas Leinenweber.

Michael Acevedo, who left a job as a corrections officer in 2015 and started his own lobbying firm, Apex Strategies, was overwhelmed by the task of filing tax returns for the business after being contacted by federal investigators during their Springfield probe, and his problems “snowballed” as he delayed filing for years, Leinenweber said.

“The reason he didn’t [file his tax returns] was because he was scared,” Leinenweber said, noting that the total of about $137,000 in unpaid taxes was relatively small and that jail time in similar cases was rare. “It was a crime, but it is not the type of crime in which when he gets to heaven he has to answer for it.”

U.S. District Judge John Kness noted that Acevedo’s immediate success as a lobbyist after leaving his job at Cook County Jail showed that Acevedo probably knew people who could have helped him manage his taxes.

“You obviously had access to a lot of people who could have helped you out,” Kness said, noting that Acevedo did not file the five years of missing tax returns for which he was charged until last week.

“Nobody goes to Springfield and makes six figures [in their first year as a lobbyist] if doors aren’t opened for them.”

Edward Acevedo, charged with failure to report income he made from his own consulting firm, pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to six months in prison. Alex Acevedo was charged with failing to report money he was paid by Apex, his brother’s lobbying firm, and was found guilty at trial in January. His sentencing is set for July.

Michael Acevedo’s sentence was shorter than the 15 to 21 months recommended by prosecutors under federal sentencing guidelines. His lawyers had sought a probation-only sentence.

Acevedo also agreed to pay his unpaid federal and state taxes. Acevedo didn’t file tax returns from 2016, and in 2015 filed a return that underreported his income from Apex by about $40,000.

Leinenweber said Acevedo had worked at his in-laws’ restaurant and as an Uber driver since his indictment, and had applied to become a Chicago police officer. It was not clear whether Acevedo’s conviction on misdemeanor charges would immediately disqualify him from working for CPD, though department policy does bar applicants for “conduct demonstrating a reputation or propensity for dishonesty.”

“The people of Chicago would be well served by someone like a Michael,” Leinenweber said. “He’s kind of a gentle giant, and if he gets into law enforcement, he will see law enforcement from both sides.”

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