Wife of ex-congressman must pay $115K in tax case

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - The wife of a former Massachusetts congressman won’t have to go to prison but must pay $115,000 to the federal government and perform 100 hours of community service for underreporting income on federal tax returns.

Roberta Blute, who ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2004, was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

She must pay the Internal Revenue Service the amount of taxes she would have been responsible for had she truthfully reported her income in 2007 and 2008. She also must serve a year of probation.

She pleaded guilty in January to filing false tax returns.

The prosecutor sought three years of probation, including eight months of home confinement, but the 55-year-old Blute asked the judge for leniency because of her children and a frail mother, according to The Telegram & Gazette (http://bit.ly/PR1HhU ). She faced a maximum of three years behind bars.

“I have made a terrible error in judgment and for that I’m so sorry,” she said in court.

Blute, of Shrewsbury, is married to former Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Blute, who served two terms in Congress, from 1993 to 1997.

In 2007, Roberta Blute reported income of $79,289 from Credit Bureau Collection Services, but did not report a total of $194,817 from four other companies. In 2008, she reported $60,884 from Credit Bureau Collection Services, but not $227,608 from five other companies.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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