PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island lawmaker pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy and tax fraud charges, admitting that he and his business partner attempted to cheat the federal government out of more than $500,000.

State Rep. John McCauley, D-Providence, entered his plea in U.S. District Court in Providence. Following his court appearance, he said his actions have taken a toll on him and his family.

Prosecutors allege that McCauley and his business partner, William L’Europa, filed false returns for their insurance adjusting business to underreport $1.8 million in income. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert said in court that McCauley inflated business expenses and took checks to a check-cashing business so the income wouldn’t appear on his business ledger.

L’Europa pleaded guilty to the same charges Thursday.

Both face a maximum sentence of up to eight years in prison in addition to fines and back taxes. Sentencing has been scheduled for December.

After Friday’s hearing, McCauley said he looks forward to “picking up the pieces” of his life.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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