Judge finds ex-US Rep. Mel Reynolds guilty of tax charges

Former US Congressman Melvin Reynolds arrives at the Harare Magistrates court on February 19, 2014. (Photo JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

CHICAGO — A judge has convicted former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds on charges he failed to file tax returns for income he made while consulting for Chicago businessmen in Africa.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman found Reynolds guilty Thursday on four misdemeanor counts. He faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The Democratic former Illinois congressman represented himself during his trial in Chicago. He argued the money he was paid was for expenses and didn’t need to be reported to the IRS.

Prosecutors said Reynolds knew he needed to file a tax return itemizing his expenses and income whether or not he profited.

Reynolds resigned from Congress in 1995 after being convicted of statutory rape. He was later convicted on charges that included concealing debts.