Mandy Dawson Gets Six Months for Tax Evasion

Though former Fort Lauderdale legislator Mandy Dawson said in April that "no different than any other person walking the streets of America" with tax problems, she's certainly different from people walking the streets now: She'll be locked up.

Dawson was sentenced to six months in prison today after pleading guilty in April to charges that she failed to pay taxes on about $200,000 in income in 2004 and 2005 and not filing income tax returns in 2006, 2007, or 2008. In case you didn't know: She was representing Fort Lauderdale in the state Legislature during that time.

She was hiding this money, imprisoned Republican lobbyist Alan Mendelsohn said, because he'd sent some of it to her as part of a "pay-to-play" system engrained in the state Legislature. From the Miami Herald:

In late 2010, when Mendelsohn pleaded guilty to a fraud-conspiracy charge, he said in federal court that he had funneled $82,000 to Dawson through her former legislative aide when the Democrat served as a state senator for the prior decade. As part of the plot, the aide was hired for a no-show job by one of the physician's political action committees because Dawson "made this request repeatedly," he said.


Dawson's lawyer had asked for her to be sentenced for house arrest so she could receive treatment for arthritis and depression -- balls of steel, that lawyer's got. The judge called shenanigans and sentenced her to six months, plus two years of supervised release. She also has to pay $29,000 in back taxes.

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