Watch CBS News

Former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson sentenced to 4 months for tax fraud case

CBS News Live
CBS News Chicago Live

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Former Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson was sentenced to four months behind bars on Wednesday, five months after he was convicted on federal tax fraud charges.

Thompson, the grandson of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, was found guilty in February on found guilty of five counts of filing a false income tax return, and two counts of false statements to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp regarding $219,000 in loans and other payments he received from Washington Federal Bank for Savings. 

He resigned from his seat as alderman of the 11th Ward two days after his conviction, which disqualified him from holding public office in Illinois.

Thompson, 52, was the first member of the Daley family to face federal charges, and is now the first Daley to be convicted. He was also the first Chicago alderman to go to trial in decades.

Federal prosecutors said Thompson borrowed $219,000 from the now-defunct Washington Federal Bank in Bridgeport. They allege Thompson only made one payment and paid no interest, even though he reported interest payments on his income taxes. The feds said Thompson then lied to the FDIC about how much he borrowed.

Thompson was charged with filing false tax returns and making false statements to federal employees, specifically over how much he borrowed and owed to the bank. The feds claim he did that in order to avoid paying back more than $100,000 he owed, thinking he wouldn't get caught because the bank's president killed himself days before the bank failed.

In closing arguments at Thompson's trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Peterson told the jury, "when he saw an opportunity to lie, to deceive, to pay less than he owed, he took it."

"He thought he could trick them," Peterson said.

But defense attorney Chris Gair suggested to jurors the government went after his client because he's a member of the Daley family. 

Thompson's defense team has argued there was no evidence that Thompson planned to avoid paying taxes he owed in connection to the loan, describing the case as nothing more than an honest mistake by Thompson.

Gair told the jury Thompson has a hectic life and simply forgot how much he'd borrowed.

"Character matters. Character counts," Gair said. "He's not the type to go around scheming, plotting, lying, (and) cheating."

Thompson has not made any comment during his trial, but has asserted he is innocent since the day he was indicted last April.

More than a dozen people have been indicted in connection with the failed bank.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.