Donald Pears, a former Mobile Police Department corporal was sentenced to serve 150 hours of community service through a diversion program and ordered to pay a restitution of $19,708 Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of income tax evasion and filing false reports.
In May, Pears plead guilty to charges he evaded paying state income taxes by falsely claiming he was exempt from income tax withholding. He will not serve prison time after pleading guilty on charges of tax evasion and filing a false return. He was sentenced Tuesday to five years in the state penitentiary.
Pears will be monitored by the “Front-End Diversion Program” of the Mobile County Corrections Office.
He claimed exempt status and had zero tax withholding from his paycheck for multiple years. When he did file an income tax return, it was a false and fraudulent return submitted under penalty of perjury because he failed to report significant income.
“I am proud of the accomplishments of the Special Prosecutions Alliance and of the partnership we have with the Department of Revenue in investigations and prosecutions such as this,” Attorney General Luther Strange said at the time of the conviction. “Misrepresenting one’s status or income to avoid paying taxes is a serious crime, and our message is that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute these cases.”
After pleading guilty to the crimes, Pears resigned from the Mobile Police Department and was placed in bad standing with the department as he failed to give a two-week notice.
Mobile Police officials said the department was in the process of “administratively removing Pears’ certification.” As a convicted felon, he can’t serve as a police officer.
Pears, a former homicide detective, served the Mobile Police Department for almost 43 years.