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Jewish NYC councilman pleads guilty to tax fraud

Chaim Deutsch, who failed in 2020 run for Congress, admits filing tax return with false information on income from his real estate management company

Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor-in-chief of JTA

New York City Council Member Chaim Deutsch shown at a Budget Negotiating Team meeting in 2018. (John McCarten/New York City Council, via JTA)
New York City Council Member Chaim Deutsch shown at a Budget Negotiating Team meeting in 2018. (John McCarten/New York City Council, via JTA)

JTA — Chaim Deutsch, a Brooklyn politician who chairs the Jewish Caucus of the New York City Council, pleaded guilty to tax fraud.

Deutsch, a Democrat, filed a 2015 tax return that included “false and fraudulent information” related to outside income from his real estate management company, according to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Appearing Thursday in Manhattan federal court, he pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return and agreed to pay back $82,076 in taxes, plus interest. He faces up to one year in prison and maximum fine of $100,000 at his sentencing on July 29.

Deutsch did not return media requests for comment and did not say whether he would be stepping down from the City Council before term limits end his time in office after November.

Deutsch ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year in a campaign that relied on cultivating Orthodox Jewish and Russian immigrant voters in the southern parts of his district, which includes the heavily Jewish neighborhoods of Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay and Midwood.

Earlier this year he successfully pressured New York City to include kosher food in a meals program launched to keep city residents fed during the pandemic. He also defended Orthodox Jews after Mayor Bill de Blasio criticized members of the community for flouting COVID-19 safety rules.

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