Former legislator pleads guilty to employment tax charges

May 17, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A former state lawmaker who also once served as Wisconsin’s tourism secretary has pleaded guilty to failing to pay nearly $200,000 in employment taxes.

Sixty-year-old Kevin Shibilski, of Merrill, entered the plea in federal court Monday involving taxes owed on behalf of employees at two of his businesses, Pure Extractions and Wisconsin Logistics Solutions.

Shibilski represented the 24th Senate District from 1995 to 2002, when he unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. He later served as state tourism secretary under Gov. Jim Doyle.

In exchange for Shibilski’s guilty plea, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss all other charges on which a grand jury indicted Shibilski in September 2020, including eight counts of wire fraud and storing and disposing of hazardous waste without a permit, according to court documents.

Shibilski originally was charged with conspiring to defraud the United States by not paying more than $850,000 in employment and income taxes, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.

According to the indictment, Shibilski, through his electronics recycling business, illegally stored and disposed of broken and crushed glass from cathode ray tubes that were considered hazardous material.

Shibilski’s sentencing is set for Sept. 13. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.