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May 10, 2018

High-profile recipient of federal clemency headed to prison once more, and then...

The life and legal sagas of Mel Reynolds could surely serve as a remarkable movie script, but today it was the subject of (another) federal sentencing proceeding. This USA Today article, headlined "Former U.S. congressman Mel Reynolds is headed back to prison -- and then Africa," provides highlights from a remarkable life story:

Disgraced former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds is headed back to prison.  The controversial ex-congressman from Chicago was sentenced Thursday to six months in federal prison for failure to file income tax returns for four years, from 2009 to 2013, despite making about $400,000 as a consultant for two Chicago-area businessmen in Africa during that time.

Reynolds, a Democrat who served in the House from 1993 to 1995, saw his storybook political career upended when he was convicted in 1995 of sexual assault of a 16-year-old campaign worker.  While serving his sentence for the statutory rape conviction, Reynolds was convicted on a series of charges that included bank fraud, misusing campaign funds and making false statements to the Federal Election Commission.  Those charges resulted in an additional 78-month federal prison sentence.  He served 42 months on those charges before then-President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences.

The former congressman, who represented himself at his four-day bench trial last year on the tax fraud charges, insisted that the money he received was for business expenses and was not taxable income.  At his sentencing hearing, he made an argument that had he filed taxes he may have actually been owed a refund. U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman noted that Reynolds' argument seemed to conflate tax credits with tax deductions, and dismissed it....

Born to a poor family in Mississippi and later living as a youth on public assistance in Chicago, Reynolds climbed his way out of poverty and earned advanced degrees at Harvard University and was awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University before running for office. "It is really tragic that you squandered the type of opportunity you've had and failed to become what you could have become," Gettleman said before handing down the sentence.

Following the hearing, Reynolds struck a defiant tone in brief comments to reporters.  The former lawmaker, who is slated to begin his sentence Aug. 1, said that he planned to move Africa after he completes his prison term. He will receive credit for two months he spent in federal custody before posting bail ahead of his trial.  “I’m done with America,” Reynolds said. “I am going to go home to Africa. I’ve given up on America.”

Reynolds had entered a consulting agreement to hunt for business opportunities in Zimbabwe on behalf of two prominent Chicago-area businessmen, Elzie Higginbottom and Willie Wilson.  Higginbottom testified that he ended the partnership with Reynolds in 2012 after Reynolds managed to only land a single contract to sell latex gloves to Zimbabwe hospitals.  “Frankly, at the end of the day, (Reynolds) knew better,” federal prosecutors argued in their sentencing memorandum in which they recommended Reynolds face at least a two year prison sentence.  His “personal behavior has repeatedly reflected his willingness to engage in fraudulent, criminal conduct and his readiness to mislead and defy courts in an attempt to obstruct justice.”...

Reynolds argued that it was unfair that he “continue to be punished over and over” for his previous convictions.  "I started from nothing but I became something," Reynolds said. "To put me in jail serves what purpose?"

May 10, 2018 at 05:45 PM | Permalink


Yet another black man lynched on nitpicking charges by the vile feminist lawyer and its male running dogs. Had he been white, he would have received community service, in a plea deal.

For example, I, a white male, was fined $15,000 by the IRS for filing a Form 5500 late. I wrote back, citing § 1.6664-4 Reasonable cause and good faith exception to section 6662 penalties. Basically, I said, I am a nice person, and did not really mean to violate the law. Because I am white, there was no problem, anymore.

The lawyer profession is fully under the control of the feminists in 2018, the way it was fully under the control of the KKK in 1918.

Posted by: David Behar | May 10, 2018 6:24:20 PM

Don't you just love how he tries to claim that his current troubles only exist because of his earlier convictions when they are for entirely separate time periods? Although if he wants to move to Africa and scam people there I'm all for that.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 10, 2018 10:57:59 PM

SH: I am interested in an analysis of his sentencing were he white. He was radicalized at Harvard University, true. But his harsh treatment is racist.

Posted by: David Behar | May 10, 2018 11:58:13 PM

I am actually surprised he did not draw a heavier sentence, a sex offender with other priors getting caught in yet more criminal behavior. He obviously learned nothing from the first go-round (not even to be smarter about his offenses).

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | May 11, 2018 12:54:51 AM

Doug, from Behar's comments on the last five postings, your encouragement that he post less often and with more civility has fallen on deaf ears.


Posted by: bruce cunningham | May 11, 2018 9:33:53 PM

Hi, Bruce. Feminist customer for you. Has good mitigating factor.


Posted by: David Behar | May 12, 2018 2:22:49 AM

The devaluation of male murder victims by the vile feminist lawyer profession. That victim's execution was cruel and unusual. It does not matter. The feminist is privileged by the lawyer profession.


Posted by: David Behar | May 12, 2018 11:45:50 AM

Supremacy, listen to the bells, for whom do they toll for? Dah.......

Anyway regarding black/white/anycolor:

No matter what color you are, if your the one breaking the law, then you get to do the time. Ignotance of the law is no excuse, neither is a poor family or the fact that you have never worked a day in your life or your parents and their parents.

Enough said, its very simple.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | May 12, 2018 5:19:33 PM

Supremacy, whats with this vile feminist lawyer crap... You just dont get it...

Go grind your axe somewhere else, what is wrong with you....

Posted by: MidWestGuy | May 12, 2018 5:22:40 PM

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