May 28, 2009 -- Former V.I. Senator Alicia "Chucky" Hansen was sentenced Thursday in federal District Court on St. Croix to three years in prison, with the sentence suspended, for failure to file income tax returns.
Hansen was found guilty December 10, 2008, of three counts of failure to file income tax returns under the Virgin Islands income tax laws. (See "Former Senator Hansen Found Guilty On Tax Charges.")
She was sentenced to one year in prison on each count, each year to run consecutively. Visiting District Court Judge Frank Savage suspended the prison sentence and placed Hansen on probation for three years with numerous conditions, according to a statement issued by prosecuting U.S. Attorney Paul A. Murphy on Thursday. Hansen is required to file all delinquent income tax returns for the years of conviction and all other years that she did not file income tax returns by September.
Hansen must perform 600 hours of community service at the direction of the probation office.
According to Murphy, Hansen told the Court that she apologized to the people of the Virgin Islands for violating the law and that she would make it right.
This latest development caps several years of legal troubles for Hansen. In February 2007 she was found not guilty of conflict of interest charges. (See "Former Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen Found Innocent.")
The three minor failure to file charges for which Hansen was convicted, as well as the one acquittal and the dismissed charges, all arose out of that case, which in turn grew out of a separate, much larger public corruption scandal involving former government officials and a company called Global Resources Management. Several GRM principals -- Campbell Malone, a former legislative post auditor, St. Croix attorney Ashley Andrews and former government aide Ohanio Harris -- have all been convicted and sentenced to prison for various charges connected to a fraudulent $3.6 million sewer contract.
While the illegal activities were going on, Hansen's husband, Esdel Hansen, was listed as GRM's sole employee. He was initially charged along with Malone, Andrews and Harris, but those charges were subsequently dropped and Esdel Hansen was found innocent of conflict of interest charges.
Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued that in 2001 Alicia Hansen steered a $25,000 contract with the 24th Legislature to GRM where her husband worked, contending Hansen illegally benefited from the arrangement because she and her husband shared household incomes, and because GRM cut Hansen's campaign a check for $1,000.
Hansen's attorneys successfully countered the $25,000 did not go to Esdel Hansen and the campaign contribution was perfectly legal.
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