Ex-chief public defender for Hennepin Co. pleads guilty to tax crimes

Hennepin County’s former chief public defender pleaded guilty Monday afternoon to federal tax crimes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Kassius Benson entered the plea to a charge of willfully failing to pay employment taxes.

He resigned from his county post in October 2022 after the tax fraud allegations came to light.

According to prosecutors, in 2013 and from 2015 through 2019, Benson chose to not file quarterly employment tax returns or pay withholdings for the employees at his law firm.

The attorney’s office estimates the tax loss from his actions at $213,000.

Benson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 23 and faces up to five years in prison.