- Associated Press - Monday, July 7, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - Former Massachusetts Transportation Secretary James Kerasiotes was charged Monday with filing false personal income tax returns for 2010 and 2011.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office said during those years Kerasiotes worked as a self-employed consultant to transportation and construction firms. Ortiz said Kerasiotes filed individual income tax returns that reflected only a portion of the income he earned during those years and thereby evaded payment of income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

Juliane Balliro, a lawyer representing Kerasiotes, said he accepts responsibility for failing to include a portion of his income in his tax returns and will make full restitution including fines.

Balliro said she expects the government will put the loss at around $31,000, although Kerasiotes maintains the loss is less.

“Mr. Kerasiotes has been cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s office,” Balliro said.

Kerasiotes faces a sentence of no more than three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $100,000.

Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties, according to Ortiz’s office. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on sentencing guidelines and other factors.

Kerasiotes was appointed transportation secretary by former Gov. William Weld in 1992 and later assumed control of the Big Dig project until 2000, when he was pressed to resign after acknowledging the project was $1.4 billion over budget.

Weld, now a private lawyer, was also listed as one of Kerasiotes’ attorneys in the tax case.

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