Updated and revised 4/29/08
PEORIA -- Three defendants in the federal case involving the father of Cong. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, have been sentenced to prison. A federal jury found them guilty of tax fraud charges in July 2008.
Brent Winters, a Republican who was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress from the 19th district in 1998, was sentenced to serve one year in prison. He was sentenced on April 27, according to federal records.
According to a previous news release from the US Attorney's office as quoted in news media accounts, the court found that Winters loaned his own election campaign more than $36,000, then declared the loan uncollectible and sold it for $2,500 to a trust fund controlled by himself and his wife. Then he declared the $34,000 loss as a deduction on his tax return.
He was found guilty of filing a false tax return, but acquitted of conspiracy.
Winters and the others were involved in setting up offshore accounts to help clients avoid paying income taxes. Among those clients was Dr. Richard Schock, father of Aaron Schock. The physician became a government witness.
During the trial he testified that Aaron Schock in 2001 acting as a Notary Public backdated some dates for documents. That's a misdemeanor, for official misconduct. The statute of limitations had expired on the incident, however.
The news story on this testimony, from the Associated Press which acquired the transcript and actually read it, didn't come out until October, during Schock's campaign for Congress. But the news apparently had no impact on the voters, who overwhelmingly elected Schock over his Democratic opponent, Colleen Callahan.
Schock called the backdating "a clerical error."
The other two defendants, Debra Hills and Kenton Tylman, of Charleston, will serve longer prison terms. They were convicted of conspiracy as well as tax fraud charges.
Hills was sentenced to 36 months in prison and restitution of $162,264.00 to be paid to the IRS.
Tylman was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison, and restitution of $259,161 to the IRS.
The sentencing hearings for Hills and Tylman, in the court of Judge Michael Mihm, ended on April 29.
-- Elaine Hopkins