Minnesota prosecutors have charged Hamline University professor Robin Magee with 11 felony counts for failing to file tax returns and filing false returns. In addition to criminal law, tax law is one of Magee’s specialties and she also practices as a tax lawyer.
Prosecutors allege that Magee failed to file her state tax returns for 2004 through 2006 until this year, never filed for 2007, and underpaid her taxes by $5,000. The government also charges that Magee claimed eight exemptions, even though she is single and has no dependents. Failing to pay $5000 and file returns is certainly wrong, but I am not sure it warrants an eleven count criminal indictment.
Magee reportedly claimed that she failed to file her tax returns because she has extreme attention deficit disorder, though if true that makes her work on the taxes of others a bit difficult to square. However, given the less than $5000 in arrears, I am not sure why this could not have been handled without a full-fledge criminal prosecution. Even if ADD did not contribute to this failure, this strikes me as a misdemeanor case that could have been pleaded out.
The school has decided to allow Magee to continue to teach, which is appropriate in my view. She will teach a class on criminal procedure and a seminar on race and the law.
On her faculty page, she writes:
“I believe, as the founders of this country espoused, that the greatest threat to law and order, peace and liberty is tyranny, not crime. I, therefore, believe that the highest calling of the lawyer is the call to fight against tryanny and government-sponsored or tolerated oppression. Thus, I struggle in my classes to instill in my students the knowledge of the law and the critical and analytical skills to hold the government (and everyone else) accountable to the rule of law and the rights of all people.”
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