Undated photo of former Illinois State Senator Terry Link. | Provided Photo

Terry Link, the state senator from Vernon Hills who resigned, was sentenced Wednesday to probation after he pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion for underreporting his income.

Link, 76, of Vernon Hills, was charged in the U.S. Northern District Court of Illinois on August 13, 2020, with one count of filing a false tax return.

He pleaded guilty in September 2020 and admitted to underreporting his income for several years from 2012-2016.

The IRS lost at least $71,133 and the Illinois Department of Revenue lost at least $11,527 due to the underreporting, the plea agreement said.

For the calendar year 2016, Link admitted that he underreported approximately $93,859, approximately $73,159 of which was money from a campaign fund – Friends of Terry Link – that Link spent on personal expenses, prosecutors said.

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A charging document said that Link reported $264,450 in income on his 2016 tax return to the IRS despite his income “substantially exceeding” that amount.

Link agreed to pay back the $71,133 to the IRS and $11,527 to the Illinois Department of Revenue as part of the plea deal.

Link was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and represented the 30th Legislative District, which covers parts of Waukegan, North Chicago, Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire and other towns.

Link was a member of the Legislative Ethics Commission but resigned in August 2020 after being charged. He had also been the head of the Lake County Democratic Party since 1992.

In a letter addressed to the Secretary of the Senate, Link announced his resignation as a state senator.

The Chicago Tribune reported in 2019 that Link wore a wire for the FBI in a bribery investigation of his then-colleague, Rep. Luis Arroyo. At the time, Link repeatedly denied being the senator who cooperated with the FBI.

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Prosecutors and Link’s attorney both filed sentencing memorandums requesting that a judge sentence him to probation on the charge, which carries up to three years in prison.

Prosecutors said in their memorandum that Link was a state senator who “betrayed the public trust” by taking money from his campaign account and then failing to file accurate tax returns.

Prosecutors noted that Link cooperated extensively with the FBI, which led to convictions against others.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Rowland sentenced Link to three years of probation during a sentencing hearing on Wednesday.