12/03/2012 01:00 pm ET

William Beavers Trial: Jury Selection Starts In Tax Evasion Case Against 'The Hog With The Big Nuts'

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Potential jurors in the William Beavers tax evasion trial will field questions about IRS audits and their feelings about gambling as the selection process gets underway with a U.S. District judge Monday.

The Cook County Commissioner, who has referred to himself as "The Hog With The Big Nuts," faces allegations that he siphoned off thousands of dollars in campaign money to pay for gambling debts racked up at the Horseshoe Casino and other personal expenses, reports Fox Chicago.

In all, Beavers, 77, allegedly diverted $226,000 in campaign funds then failed to report it as income on his tax returns, according to Fox.

Beavers, meanwhile, has called the tax dodging "an oversight," according to NBC Chicago, and implied he was asked by the feds to participate in a bigger investigation into activities by fellow commissioner John Daley and then-board president Todd Stroger.

According to the Tribune, Beavers can tell the jury he repaid the campaign money and amended his taxes upon learning of the investigation if he is called to take the stand.

If convicted, NBC reports Beavers faces a fine of $250,000 and maximum penalty of three years in federal prison for each count against him.

Opening statements could begin as soon as Tuesday in what is expected to be a two-week trial.


Corruption In Illinois