James Capel, a former aide to Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for three years.
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Capel pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of one count of failure to file a tax return and two counts of tax fraud.
Rangel was censured in the House last December for various ethics violations, including failure to pay taxes on rental income from a villa in the Dominican Islands (see House Censures Rangel). Capel’s failure to file tax returns from 2007 to 2009 was unconnected to Rangel’s ethical lapses. However, he worked as a top advisor to Rangel for more than 10 years, according to The New York Times. He ran Rangel’s New York office, according to the New York Post. Rangel was the former chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee until he stepped down in the midst of the ethics investigation.
Capel did have some income taxes automatically withheld from his paycheck, but his failure to file the tax returns led to about $25,000 in unpaid taxes. As part of his plea deal, he will pay over $42,000 in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. Capel retired in February from his job, where he earned nearly $160,000 a year.