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County commissioner convicted of tax charges

CHICAGO (AP) — A jury has convicted an influential Chicago Democrat of tax evasion for not declaring campaign cash he spent on gambling as income.

The federal jury returned with the verdict on Thursday afternoon, about two hours after they started their deliberations in the federal tax trial of 78-year-old Cook County Commissioner William Beavers.

In her closing, prosecutor Carrie Hamilton told jurors the Chicago Democrat dipped into his campaign coffers for gambling money and then failed to declare it as income. But defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. alleged government attorneys had twisted the evidence. In a booming voice he told jurors the prosecutors, in his words, "are trying to bamboozle you."

The former policeman and one-time Chicago alderman was convicted of all four tax counts. Each carries a maximum three-year prison term.

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