Federal officials filed charges Monday against Channahon Village President Joe Cook, alleging he did not file federal income tax returns between 2005 and 2008.
The charges, which are misdemeanors, claim Cook made $250,000 from two public jobs, including village president and a private consulting business, Channahon-based Phase One.
“According to the charges, Cook earned gross income from at least three sources—Channahon, Will County and Phase One—totaling approximately $69,672 in 2005, $82,542 in 2006, $60,304 in 2007, and $39,066 in 2008, but did not file federal individual tax returns. He also allegedly failed to file federal corporate tax returns for Phase One, which Cook incorporated in December 2006,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
When reached by phone Tuesday morning, Channahon Village President Joe Cook declined to comment on the charges.
Each count of failing to file a federal income tax return carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, in addition to paying prosecution costs and back taxes. If found guilty, there is also a civil fraud penalty of 75 percent of the underpayment plus interest.
The charges against Cook come on the heels of a lawsuit filed by the Regional Transit Authority last week, accusing the village of benefiting from a sales tax loophole. Cook said the suit was "incestuous" and "political."
Cook was reelected to his third term as village president in April.