Former Oklahoma City councilman accepts plea deal for failing to file tax returns

OKLAHOMA CITY – A former Oklahoma City councilman received a deferred sentence after accepting a plea deal.

In May of 2018, John Pettis was charged with embezzlement and not filing taxes.

At the time, prosecutors alleged that Pettis stole tens of thousands of dollars from charitable organizations under his control, and used the funds for personal use.

Pettis was also accused of tax fraud by failing to file taxes between 2009 and 2017. In fact, the affidavit states, “the OTC has no record that John Pettis Jr. has ever filed an Oklahoma Tax Return.”

When questioned by investigators, neither Pettis nor his attorney offered “any explanation,” according to the court records.

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Pettis was originally facing three counts of felony embezzlement and one count of intentionally failing to file tax returns.

In May, the three counts of embezzlement were dismissed at the request of the state.

Court records show that Pettis pleaded guilty to one count of failure to file state tax returns in time on Wednesday.

He received a five-year deferred sentence and was ordered to pay $5,000 in fines.

Pettis served as a Ward 7 councilman from 2013 to 2018.

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