KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsBorder Watch


Immigrant advocate in Arizona gets 18-month term

prison bars.jpg
Posted at 12:26 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 14:26:43-05

PHOENIX (AP) - A longtime advocate for immigrants in Arizona has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for a felony conviction stemming from his tax preparation business.

Elias Bermudez had previously pleaded guilty to assisting in the preparation of false tax returns.

He had acknowledged that he falsely added dependents - including three children who lived in Mexico - to his clients' tax returns to maximize refundable credits.

Bermudez led protests more than a decade ago against Arizona's immigration laws and then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio's crackdowns on immigrants.

He also owned a business that helped immigrants prepare immigration and tax documents.

Bermudez previously worked as a talk show host for a Spanish-language radio show in Phoenix and served as a vice mayor in San Luis, Arizona.