Illinois Dem Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

Terry Link is third Dem state senator accused of federal crimes in last year

Terry Link / YouTube screenshot
September 16, 2020

Illinois Democratic lawmaker Terry Link pleaded guilty to tax fraud on Wednesday, marking the third Democratic state senator to be accused of federal crimes in just over a year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Link intentionally underreported his income on his 2016 tax returns, the former state senator admitted during a court hearing Wednesday morning. He said that his actual 2016 income "substantially exceeded" the $264,450 amount he recorded.

Link resigned from his roles on the state's Legislative Ethics Commission and the Lake County Democratic Party last month after federal authorities filed the charges. On Saturday, he officially resigned from the Illinois Senate.

A slew of Illinois Democratic lawmakers have recently faced federal charges.

A federal bribery case in July revealed that the state's largest utility provider, Commonwealth Edison, bribed state house speaker Michael Madigan with an estimated $1.32 million. Federal prosecutors charged Democratic state senator Thomas Cullerton for an embezzlement scheme with a labor union in August 2019. Earlier this year, former state senator Martin Sandoval pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a red-light camera company.

Last year, Link denied allegations that he cooperated with the FBI and wore a wire to investigate his former colleague, Democratic state representative Luis Arroyo, for a bribery charge. Link did in fact cooperate with federal investigators, and Arroyo was charged with bribery last October.

Link was first elected to the state senate in 1996 and served alongside former president Barack Obama in the late '90s and early 2000s. He also chaired the Lake County Democratic Party since 1992.