Famed Defense Lawyer Off To Prison As a Tax Cheat

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010  |  Updated 3:00 PM EDT
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Famed Defense Lawyer Off To Prison As a Tax Cheat

NORWALK, CT - AUGUST 28: Michael Sherman, attorney for Michael Skakel, greets members of the Skakel family as they enter Norwalk Superior Court August 28, 2002 in Norwalk, Connecticut. The jury returned a guilty verdict June 7, 2002 which convicted Skakel of the 1975 murder of neighbor Martha Moxley. Skakel is expected to be sentenced August 28, 2002 at Norwalk Superior Court. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)

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Famed defense lawyer Michael Sherman - perhaps best known for his defense of convicted Kennedy-cousin Michael Skakel - was himself ordered to jail Wednesday for cheating on over $400,000 in taxes.  Officials said Sherman still owes the government more than $1 million in back taxes and penalties.

Michael Sherman, known as "Mickey" to friends, will serve one year and one day in federal prison for his tax fraud.  Investigators said he failed to pay $420,000 in 2001 and 2002 in order to support his lavish lifestyle.   Sherman lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Sherman represented Skakal in his 2002 trial for allegedly killing 15-year-old Martha Moxley in 1975.

Prosecutors said Sherman finally paid the $400,000 he owed this year after being prosecuted.  They say he still owes more than $300,000 in penalties and interest from that time.  In addition, the IRS said Sherman still owes more than $900,000 in taxes and penalties for the tax years 2004 through 2009.

Sherman pleaded guilty in June to two counts of failing to pay income taxes.

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