Tax, bribery charges filed against Indiana officials

Crime, Law and JusticeJustice SystemTheftChicago Public Library

Tax evasion and bribery charges have been filed against city council members in Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, a Merrillville clerk, the former head of the East Chicago library and a Hammond contractor.

Federal indictments were announced today against:

• Virlissa Crenshaw, 42, of East Chicago, charged with theft from a local government entity and filing a false tax return for the 2009 tax year.  Crenshaw was a clerk with the Merrillville Town Court when she allegedly stole cash bonds totaling $176,763. She has signed a plea agreement.
 
• Marilyn Krusas, 69, a Gary council member, charged with tax evasion. She is accused of evading taxes on an inheritance of $230,000.

• Manuel Montalvo, 38, of East Chicago, charged with filing false tax returns for the years 2009 and 2010.  Montalvo, the former director of the East Chicago Public Library, allegedly overstated business expenses and medical/dental expenses.

• Juda Parks, 40, an East Chicago city councilman and police officer, charged with failing to file income tax returns for 2008 and 2009.  He has signed a plea agreement, prosecutors say.

• Alfonso Salinas, 52, a Hammond city council member, charged with receiving a bribe from David Johnson, 56, owner of Dave’s Tree Service. Salinas is accused of accepting at least $10,500 from Johnson in return for hiring Dave’s Tree Service to work in Hammond’s Second District.

Northern Indiana U.S. Attorney David Capp said the charges stemmed from separate investigations, not a systematic probe of tax violations. In the last decade, the U.S. Attorney's office has charged more than 50 public officials in a wide-ranging probe of corruption in the region.

 "We have a very active public corruption task force in northwest Indiana," Capp said.

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