Sanders’ sentencing to be Feb. 10

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 4, 2008

A sentencing date has been set for Feb. 10 in the penalty phase of the tax evasion case of Vicksburg attorney Marshall Sanders.

U.S. Magistrate James C. Sumner will preside at the 2:30 p.m. hearing, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jackson.

Sanders, 58, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 to two misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file federal income tax returns for calendar years 2001 and 2002. The charges carry maximum penalties of two years in prison, supervised release up to two years and fines up to $200,000.

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The case was prosecuted by the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. State income tax returns were not addressed during the proceedings.

In May, Sanders was indicted on three felony counts of income tax evasion for 2000 through 2003. Documents alleged Sanders used his attorney escrow account to hold and dispense his personal income. The fund is used typically for client funds, real estate closings and other matters.

Legal counsel for Sanders said the plea agreement resulted in the defense’s cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service to determine Sanders’ correct tax liability from 1995 to the present, during which Sanders has not filed a return, and to file complete and accurate tax returns for that period of time. Whether Sanders would be made to pay any federal income taxes or fines for those years was unclear in the plea agreement.

As part of a plea deal, Sanders agreed to pay taxes due for 2000 through 2002. If Sanders meets all of the conditions in the plea, the government will dismiss the indictment at sentencing.

Sanders, free on a $10,000 bond, has practiced mostly civil law since 1977. He holds an economics degree from Harvard University and a law degree from Emory University.

Under the Mississippi State Bar’s rules, attorneys who plead guilty to a felony besides manslaughter or a misdemeanor involving fraud, dishonesty, misrepresentation, deceit, or willful failure to account for a client’s money or property face the possibility of disciplinary action from the bar. If initiated, those proceedings will be confidential and the results announced only if there is a public admonition, license suspension or disbarment.


Contact Danny Barrett Jr. at