WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) _ Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary is vouching for a retired detective who faces sentencing in connection to lying to federal tax agents investigating a tax preparer.

The Republican-American reports  that John Maia faces up to six months in federal prison when he’s sentenced Wednesday. His lawyer is asking for no prison time.

Maia, 73, pleaded guilty to lying to a federal agent in March.

“John Maia has given his entire life to this community and I respectfully ask that he be given consideration for all the good things he has done,” O’Leary wrote.

Maia’s attorney has submitted 45 letters on his behalf, including one from O’Leary saying that Maia has given his life to the community.

Maia claimed about $10,000 in expenses in 2005 for losses on a music business stemming and claimed he made thousands in charitable contributions. He told the IRS agents that the deductions were legitimate.

Maia was a city police officer for 30 years before retiring as a detective. He retired as an investigator in February 2011 and was arrested that month after federal authorities unsealed a five-count indictment against him.

Maia’s lawyer, Hubert J. Santos, wrote that his client is referred to as an “ambassador” of Waterbury who has helped people in the community. He said his career was tarnished by his felony conviction.

He became known in the community as someone people could come to with information about crimes, which that helped solve violent crimes, including murders.

Discrepancies on his tax returns from 2005 to 2008 amounted to more than $40,0 in unpaid federal taxes, authorities say.

Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Maia within a federal guideline range of no time in prison to six months and a fine of up to $5,000.
Information from: Republican-American, http://www.rep-am.com

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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