Jurors find Tennessee lawmaker guilty of felony count
State Rep. Joe Armstrong, center, with his wife, LeTonia, and attorney Gregory P. Isaacs, leaves court after being found guilty of one felony count in his tax fraud trial Monday in Knoxville. (PAUL EFIRD/N
KNOXVILLE, TN (AP) - A Tennessee lawmaker who didn't pay taxes on a more than $300,000 windfall from an investment into cigarette tax stamps has been convicted of filing a false tax return, but acquitted of tax evasion and conspiracy charges.
Media reported that the jury in Knoxville returned the verdict on Monday in the case against state Rep. Joe Armstrong.
Prosecutors alleged that the Democratic lawmaker of nearly three decades conspired with his accountant to hide the transaction linked to a 2007 cigarette tax hike that Armstrong had advocated and voted for.
Armstrong took to the stand earlier on Friday to testify that he had been swindled by the accountant, who pleaded guilty to a related fraud charge last year and testified on behalf of the prosecution.
Armstrong was first elected to the Tennessee House in 1988 and was unopposed in Thursday's primary.
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