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Former Illinois state senator pleads not guilty to federal tax charges

Former Illinois state senator pleads not guilty to federal tax charges

Former Illinois state Sen. Annazette Collins (D) plead not guilty to federal tax charges on Tuesday.

Collins is being charged with failing to file federal income tax returns and for underreporting the income of her lobbying and consulting firm, Kourtnie Nicole Corporation, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Collins' defense attorney Shay Allen said on Collins' behalf that she pleaded not guilty during a hearing in the U.S. District Court in Chicago with U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso.

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Collins is being accused of filing false tax returns in 2014 and 2015 and not filing tax returns in 2016, the Associated Press reported.

Allen said that these charges are being used to get Collins to cooperate in a federal corruption investigation of Commonwealth Edison, a company she was hired at after retiring from office in 2013.

Filing false information for income tax returns can land a person in federal jail for three years for each charge. Failing to file income tax returns could land a person in prison for a year, according to AP.