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Corbin Turns Down Plea Offer

Nassau County Legislator Roger Corbin has turned down a plea offer on charges that he allegedly filed false federal tax returns and lied to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) special agents.

On May 6, FBI and IRS agents arrested 62-year-old Corbin after a federal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office – Eastern District alleged that he received some $226,000 from a New Cassel developer, deposited the money into his personal bank accounts and did not claim the proceeds on his federal income taxes for years 2005, 2006 and 2007. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also claiming that Corbin lied to FBI and IRS agents about how the money was used during a November 2008 interview.

The deal, presented by federal prosecutors, could have required Corbin to plead guilty to four felony counts and serve a prison sentence of up to 21 months in prison as well as pay restitution of some $70,000 in back taxes plus penalty interest. Corbin would have also been required to file amended tax returns with the IRS for years 2005 through 2008.

Had he taken the plea, Corbin, who pled not guilty before United States Magistrate Arlene R. Lindsay in Central Islip and was released on his own recognizance, would have also been required to resign from his seat on the legislature; he has served the 2nd Legislative District (which includes all of Westbury, New Cassel and Carle Place and parts of East Garden City, East Meadow, Hicksville, Hempstead, Lakeview, Old Westbury, Uniondale and West Hempstead) since the county legislature’s inception in 1995.

According to the terms of the deal, if Corbin were to go to trial and be convicted on all four felony counts – three for tax fraud for evading income taxes in the years 2005-2007 and one count of making false statements to government agents – he could face up to 14 years in prison plus fines and back taxes, interest and penalties.

Corbin’s case was initially scheduled to return to court May 26 but was adjourned at the request of his attorney, Thomas Liotti of Garden City. A new court date was not set as of press time.