Former state house employee convicted on 5 counts of tax evasion charges

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A former employee of the Alabama House of Representatives has been found guilty on five counts of tax-related charges, Attorney General Luther Strange said today.

William Clay Covington, 41, pled guilty this morning to four counts of failure to file tax returns and one count of failure to pay income taxes. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge William A. Shashy ordered Covington to pay $15,480.87 in restitution to the Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

Prosecutors presented evidence against Covington showing that Covington earned $237,620.40 in wages from the State of Alabama and $277,000 in other income from the Macon County Greyhound Park and the Jefferson County Racing Association from 2006 to 2011. The evidence also showed that Covington failed to pay state taxes on this income and he pleaded guilty to failing to pay income tax for the 2006 tax year. He also pleaded guilty to not filing a tax return for four consecutive years beginning in 2006.

"This conviction is a reminder that failure to follow our tax laws will not be tolerated," said Attorney General Strange in a released statement.{} "Our office will continue to work with the Department of Revenue to thoroughly investigate and prosecute these crimes, as well as seek to recover funds that are due to the public treasury."

With the conviction, Covington faces up to one year in jail and up to $150,000 in fines. His sentencing date has been scheduled for August 7.