The couples said “I do,” but this judge said “I don’t” to the IRS.
A New Orleans judge has been accused of failing to disclose her taxes, paying thousands of dollars she earned in fees for weddings over several years.
Ernestine “Tina” Anderson-Trahan, 55, has been a judge on Second City Court in the Parish of Orleans since 2013, hearing civil cases, small claims disputes and eviction proceedings.
On the side, prosecutors said she presided over weddings in court and at private gatherings.
According to court papers, between 2013 and 2017, Anderson-Trahan oversaw hundreds of ceremonies, charging between $80 and $100 in cash for in-court weddings and more for weddings held off-site. But prosecutors say she failed to disclose any of that income on her tax return.
Messages left to a lawyer for Anderson-Trahan were not immediately returned.
This issue came to notice in 2018, when WVUE-TV broadcast a report Pointing out that several judges at the local New Orleans courthouse were charging fees to perform weddings, possibly in violation of the law. The report said each of the judges was collecting up to $25,000 in supplemental income each year.
Found guilty on all four counts of filing false tax returns, Anderson-Trahan faces up to 12 years in federal prison with which he is charged.
The message left with the spokesperson of the court was not immediately returned. It was not immediately clear whether Anderson-Trahan was suspended from his duties as a judge.
Anderson-Trahn, a Democrat, was automatically re-elected in 2018 after running unopposed. Before becoming a judge, Anderson-Trahan was an attorney in New Orleans after passing the bar in 1992.
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