A federal judge has sentenced Illinois state Rep. LaShawn Ford to probation and a fine for shortchanging the Internal Revenue Service of $3,782.
Ford pleaded guilty to a lone misdemeanor tax charge for shortchanging the IRS of $3,782 just three days after being re-elected.
Prosecutors agreed to let Ford plead guilty to the misdemeanor and in return, they dropped nearly 20 felony bank-fraud charges that could have landed Ford in prison for decades.
Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer called Ford "careless" during today's sentencing. However, Pallmeyer did acknowledge his accomplishments and services to the community.
Today, Ford received six months of probation, a $1,000 fine, and 100 hours of community service. He also must pay the IRS the $3,782, which his attorney says he'll do immediately.
Prosecutors never explained publicly why they chose not to pursue the more serious charges against the 42-year-old Chicago Democrat.