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Northwest Indiana officials indicted on federal charges

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Six people in northwest Indiana, including three council members, were indicted Thursday on federal charges resulting from an investigation by the Northern District of Indiana’s Public Corruption Task Force.

Those indicted include five current or former public officials accused of tax fraud, tax evasion and charges related to alleged kickbacks schemes and theft of public money.

Those charged are:

  • Gary City Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas, 69, indicted on one count of tax evasion. According to a statement from David Capp, U.S. attorney for the Northern District, Krusas failed to file tax returns since 1991 and allegedly committed a number of acts of evasion in connection with an inheritance of $230,000 she received in 2009-2010. Krusas pleaded not guilty Thursday and was released on $20,000 bond while surrendering her passport.
  • East Chicago City Councilman and police officer Juda Parks, 40, was indicted on two counts of failure to file income tax returns for the tax years 2008 and 2009. Capp’s office said Parks signed an agreement in conjunction with the indictment, pleading guilty to all charges and agreeing to cooperate with the government.
  • Hammond Second District Councilman Alfonso Salinas, 52, was charged with receipt of a bribe by an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. Salinas, using his allotment of funds derived from casino revenue received by the city of Hammond, accepted at least $10,500 from Dave’s Tree Service owner Dave Johnson to hire the company to work in the district that Salinas represented. Johnson, 56, of Munster, was charged with payment of a bribe to an agent of a local government receiving federal funds. Salinas is also charged with four counts of willful failure to file tax returns for tax years 2006 through 2009.
  • Former Merillville Town Clerk Virlissa Crenshaw, 42, of East Chicago, was charged with theft from a local government entity and with filing a false tax return for the 2009 tax year. Crenshaw is accused of stealing cash bonds while working for the Merrillville Town Court. According to the Northern District attorney’s office, Crenshaw signed a plea agreement filed in conjunction with the indictment admitting her guilt to all charges.  The loss to Merrillville is $176,763 and the federal tax loss is $55,203, the office said.
  • Former East Chicago Public Library Director Manuel Montalvo, 38, was indicted on two counts of filing false tax returns for the tax years 2009 and 2010. Montalvo is accused of overstating unreimbursed business expenses and medical and dental expenses that he knew were substantially less than reported.  

Capp said the indictments were the result of an ongoing multi-agency effort whose primary participants are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police and the Internal Revenue Service.
 
“The Internal Revenue Service was the key agency driving these investigations,” Capp said. “We will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of public corruption and, where warranted, seek appropriate federal charges, including tax offenses.”

“Failure to file tax returns and the filing of false tax returns by public officials will not be tolerated. Those who disobey the tax laws will be held accountable," IRS Criminal Investigation Chief Richard Weber said in a statement.
 

 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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