HOUSTON (AP) — A former Harris County deputy constable is charged with using information obtained while doing that job to file false tax returns.
Federal officials say Vernon Matthews was charged in a five-count indictment returned Tuesday.
The indictment says while working as a deputy constable, Matthews got information on children and then claimed them as dependent nephews and nieces on tax returns. He's also accused of claiming child care and educational expenses and making false statements to the FBI when questioned about it.
He faces up to five years in prison on the false statement charge and each of the four counts of tax evasion.
Defense attorney Robert Scardino tells KHOU television station (http://bit.ly/1owTq03 ) it's too early to come to conclusions, adding Matthews has been "a good cop for a long time."
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com