Former Seminole councilman guilty of tax fraud

Miami, Florida (AP) April 2012

A former member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s council has pleaded guilty to a federal tax fraud charge.

David Roger Cypress of Clewiston pleaded guilty Friday in Miami federal court. He faces a maximum three-year prison sentence.

Court documents show that Cypress received more than $285,000 in taxable distributions from the Seminole tribe that he failed to report on a tax return. Prosecutors say the payments were made in a concealed way through vouchers from tribal vendors.

Cypress was formerly an elected representative of the Big Cypress reservation on the Seminole tribal council.

Prosecutors say Cypress has agreed to repay $5.4 million to the IRS in back taxes, interest and penalties for the years between 2003 and 2009.