News release from the US Attorneys Office, Hammond, IN:
PUBLIC OFFICIALS INDICTED FOR TAX FRAUD AND OTHER OFFENSES
Hammond, Indiana - United States Attorney David Capp announced that six individuals have been indicted as a result of investigations conducted by the Northern District of Indiana’s Public Corruption Task Force. The Public Corruption Task Force is a multi-agency effort whose primary participants are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police and the Internal Revenue Service.
Indictments announced today:
Virlissa Crenshaw, 42, of East Chicago, Indiana, was charged in an Indictment with theft from a local government entity and with filing a false tax return for the 2009 tax year. Crenshaw was a clerk with the Merrillville Town Court at the time of the alleged offenses. The offense conduct relates to Crenshaw’s theft of cash bonds while working for the Merrillville Town Court.
Crenshaw signed a plea agreement that was filed in conjunction with the Indictment admitting her guilt to all charges. The loss to the Town of Merrillville is $176,763 and the tax loss to the United States is $55,203.
Marilyn Krusas, 69, of Gary, Indiana, was charged by Indictment with one count of tax evasion. Krusas is a Gary City Councilwoman and has held that office since 2000. Specifically, the indictment alleges that Krusas has failed to file tax returns since 1991. In addition to her failure to file, Krusas allegedly committed a number of acts of evasion in connection with an inheritance of $230,000 she received in 2009-2010.
Krusas is scheduled for her Initial Appearance before Magistrate Judge Andrew Rodovich at 12:45 this afternoon.
Manuel Montalvo, 38, of East Chicago, Indiana, was charged in an Indictment with two counts of filing false tax returns for the tax years 2009 and 2010. The Indictment alleges that Montalvo, the former Director of the East Chicago Public Library, overstated unreimbursed business expenses and medical/dental expenses that he knew were substantially less than reported.
Juda Parks, 40, of East Chicago, Indiana, was charged by Indictment with two counts of failure to file income tax returns for the tax years 2008 and 2009. Parks is an East Chicago city councilman since 2008 as well as an East Chicago police officer.
Parks signed a plea agreement that was filed in conjunction with the Indictment admitting his guilt to all charges and agreeing to cooperate with the government.
Alfonso Salinas, 52, of Hammond, Indiana, is the Second District Councilman for Hammond and has held that office since 1995. Salinas was charged with receipt of a bribe by an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. David Johnson, 56, of Munster, Indiana, owner of Dave’s Tree Service, was charged with payment of a bribe to an agent of a local government receiving federal funds.
The Indictment alleges that Salinas, using his allotment of funds derived from casino revenue received by the City of Hammond, accepted at least $10,500 from David Johnson as payment for hiring Dave’s Tree Service to work in Hammond’s Second District.
Salinas is also charged with four counts of willful failure to file tax returns for tax years 2006 through 2009.
"The individuals charged today hold positions of public trust. Failure to file tax returns and the filing of false tax returns by public officials will not be tolerated. Those who disobey the tax laws will be held accountable," said Richard Weber, Chief, IRS Criminal Investigation.
United States Attorney Capp stated, “The indictments today represent the excellent, ongoing work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police and the Internal Revenue Service in public corruption. All of these indictments allege tax offenses and the Internal Revenue Service was the key agency driving these investigations. The Internal Revenue Service is, and has been, an integral part of our public corruption team. We will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of public corruption and, where warranted, seek appropriate federal charges, including tax offenses.”
These cases have been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gary Bell and Philip Benson.
The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.