Former State Rep. Joe Armstrong to receive pension, despite felony conviction

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Rep. Joe Armstrong_93342

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Former State Rep. Joe Armstrong will get to keep his pension, despite his felony conviction in a federal tax trial earlier this year.

Armstrong was found guilty of filing a fraudulent tax return. Tennessee has a law that keeps workers or leaders from receiving benefits if they commit a felony through their work for the state.Previous story:Tennessee State Rep. Joe Armstrong found guilty of fraud

Tennessee’s retirement system decided the conviction did not meet those guidelines since it did not arise from his work as a member of the General Assembly.

The case stems from cigarette tax stamps purchased before a tax increase on which Armstrong voted. The stamps were then sold after the tax hike at a profit. The U.S. Attorney’s office says Armstrong didn’t pay taxes on those earnings. Sentencing is scheduled for November 30.

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