Criminal Justice

Celebrity Lawyer Didn't Timely Pay $400K in Taxes, But Hopes to Keep Law License & Avoid Prison

A celebrity lawyer known for his defense of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel in a decades-later prosecution over a teenage neighbor’s slaying is now in trouble himself.

Michael Sherman today pleaded guilty in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., to two misdemeanor counts for willfully failing to pay $400,000 in income tax in 2001 and 2002, reports the Associated Press. He has since paid the tax but still owes about $1 million in interest and penalties.

“I have many explanations, but no excuses,” says Sherman. “I’m taking responsibility for these two offenses and I take it very seriously.”

Although Sherman could get two years in prison when he is sentenced, his lawyer, William Dow III, says he is hopeful that his client won’t be incarcerated. He says Sherman is expected to keep his law license, because his convictions are misdemeanors.

Sherman’s law partner, Joseph Richichi, got 16 months in 2007 for failing to pay over $600,000 in taxes. He blamed bad health and Sherman, the article reports.

It appears that Sherman may have run out of money to pay his taxes after spending on family obligations, lifestyle expenses and practice costs, according to information provided by prosecutors and his attorney.

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