Former U.S. Representative Sentenced

May 11, 2018

Mel Reynolds
Credit U.S. Congress

CHICAGO (AP) - A federal judge has handed former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds a six month prison sentence for failing to file tax returns, telling the Harvard graduate he'd "squandered" opportunities to become something better.

At yesterday’s/Thursday's sentencing in Chicago, Judge Robert Gettleman alluded to how the 66-year-old had brought himself up from poverty in Mississippi to win a seat in Congress. Gettleman recalled thinking himself in the early 1990s about Reynolds' promise.

Earlier, Reynolds asked the judge for a year of probation. Reynolds asked Gettleman: "To put me in jail serves what purpose?"

The judge cited Reynolds' conviction in the mid-'90s for statutory rape and later convictions, including for concealing debts. He said it was a "tragedy" he'd "squandered the opportunities" he had. For failing to file tax returns for income made while consulting for Chicago businessmen in Africa, prosecutors had asked for a two-year sentence.