South Florida

Former Miami-Dade legislator plans to plead guilty for failing to file tax return on $270,000

Former Miami-Dade state Rep. Erik Fresen
Former Miami-Dade state Rep. Erik Fresen

Erik Fresen, a former Republican state representative from Miami-Dade, plans to plead guilty on Wednesday to a federal misdemeanor charge of failing to file a tax return on income of $270,136 in 2011 while he was serving in the Legislature and working as a land-use consultant.

Fresen, 40, who was term-limited in 2016 after serving eight years as a legislator in a district stretching from West Miami to Cutler Bay, was charged in Miami federal court this week. That paved the way for his planned guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Robert Scola.

Fresen could face from probation up to one year in prison.

Fresen's defense attorney, Jeffrey Neiman, said the former politician had income withheld by his employers in 2011 and has since paid a substantial portion of overdue taxes for that year.

“Erik has accepted full responsibility for not timely filing a tax return, which is a misdemeanor,” Neiman told the Miami Herald.

“He has made substantial tax payments and he has worked diligently to ensure compliance with all his tax obligations,” he said. “During the period in question, he paid significant taxes through withholding of income, and he disclosed all sources of income as a Florida elected official.”