A former Seminole Tribe of Florida council member has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison in a federal tax fraud case.
The Miami Herald reports that David Roger Cypress apologized at his sentencing hearing Thursday. He pleaded guilty in April to filing a false 2007 tax return.
Cypress admitted failing to report more than $285,000 in tribal distributions on the tax return for 2007 alone. But in court documents Cypress agreed to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $5.4 million in back taxes and penalties for the years 2003 to 2009.
Seminole's Powerful Cypress Steps Down
Cypress was a member of the Seminole tribal council from 1999 to 2010.
His attorney said Cypress didn't understand that he owed personal income taxes as gaming boosted the tribe's wealth.