Defense gets its turn at Beavers’ tax evasion trial

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Before his tax evasion trial began, defendant William Beavers said he was “itching” to testify.

The question is will he have the guts to do it now that the prosecution has rested its case against the Cook County Commissioner.

On Wednesday, the defense gets a crack at trying to tell the jury why the Chicago democrat with a lot of political juice over the years didn’t squander away hundreds of thousands of his campaign dollars at area casinos.

The defense argues that the monies were loans and not subject to income tax.

The feds say Beavers wrote 100 checks, from his campaign fund, to himself between 2006 and 2008.

Almost every time, IRS agent Paul Ponzo said, those checks coincided with losing visits to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana.

Prosecutors tried to show the jury how invoices had been changed and check stubs altered to cover up the cooked books courtesy of Beavers himself.

The total loss during that two year period: $477,000.

Federal prosecutors accuse Beavers of using his campaign money for personal use or to feed his gambling habit and never paying tax on the income.

Before the trial, Beavers accused the FBI of going after him only after he refused to wear a wire for their investigation of another commissioner.

If Beavers testifies and gets convicted, he could be looking at a stiffer punishment.

If a judge determines he lied on the stand, it could be used as a factor to increase his sentence.

The defense is expected to only take a day, meaning the jury could get the case sometime in the afternoon.

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