Former California gubernatorial candidate George "Nick" Jesson has pleaded guilty to state tax evasion charges and will begin serving a 27-month term in prison concurrently with his sentence for federal tax evasion charges.

Jesson, 55, who finished fourth in the state's 2002 Republican primary, campaigned on a strident anti-tax platform -- often saying that taxes were unconstitutional and easily avoided. At one point, he took out an ad in a national newspaper to announce that he had stopped withholding taxes for the employees of his electronics businesses because the government had no authority to demand the money.

Since then, Jesson's multimillionaire businesses have imploded and Jesson has been forced into a wheelchair by chronic back pain.

Jesson pleaded guilty to the federal charges of tax evasion in April -- three felony counts of filing false tax returns from 1997 through 1999, like the state charges -- and was sentenced to his first 27-month sentence. Prosecutors have estimated that restitution will top $225,000.

Jesson's wife, Trina, has also been charged with four felony counts of filing false tax returns and faces up to seven years in state prison. She is due to appear before the same judge on Aug. 11.

Previously on WebCPA:

Former Calif. Candidate Wins Jail Time (April 5, 2006)

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