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Apr 28, 2021
South Brooklyn pol booted from City Council after tax fraud plea
Chaim Deutsch had claimed personal expenses as business expenses totally $82,000
Think you’re having a rough week? At least you’re not Chaim Deutsch. The Sheepshead Bay politician pleaded guilty to tax fraud last Thursday after evading thousands of dollars in taxes. Now, he’s been booted from City Council and has already been scrubbed from his district’s page.
“Based on our review of the charging document and Mr. Chaim Deutsch’s plea agreement, the Council has concluded that the office of the 48th Council District has been vacated under the operation of law,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement Tuesday night. “Mr. Deutsch confessed to a crime and violated his oath of office. He is no longer a member of the City Council.”
Johnson referred to state law 30(1)(e), that a public office is vacated if the rep is convicted of a crime that violates their oath. Deutsch represented the 48th district, serving South Brooklyn including Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach, since 2013.
Deutsch hid outside income for over three years from his real estate business, Chasa Management—totaling over $82,000 from 2013 to 2015. His tax return for 2015 included “false or fraudulent information.” He pleaded guilty to a single count of filing false tax returns for the 2015 year.
Deutsch faces up to a year in prison and a max fine of $100,000 for the charge. The sentencing hearing will be on July 29. Still, he has vowed to fight Stringer’s decision.
“Councilman Deutsch is evaluating all of his legal rights and options in the face of this sudden decision by the Speaker. It is a sad day when those in charge think it is better to keep an empty seat in City Council than to give continued voice to Mr. Deutsch’s constituency,” said Henry E. Mazurek, Deutsch’s attorney, in a statement. “Mr. Deutsch did the right thing by admitting his mistakes and accepting responsibility. This is more than most who have served in City Council.”
Seven candidates were already vying for the council seat—Amber Adler, Binyomin Bendet, Mariya Markh, Boris Noble, Steve Saperstein, Heshy Tischler, and Inna Vernikov—which would have opened after Deutsch’s term limit ran out at the end of the year anyway. The seat, which Deutsch has held for seven years, will stand vacant.
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