So, the indictment against Alphonse (Al, "Scarface") Capone was passed down on June 5, 1931. It contained 22 counts of tax evasion and tax fraud for the years 1925-1929. The Feds apparently wanted to go after 1924 as well, but the statute of limitations was only six years, so they were too late in 1931. I couldn't find the text of it anywhere (including WestLaw), but I found a link with some of the text of some of the counts.
Here is a Uniontown, PA paper on the indictment:
Back then, internal revenue laws were passed every year (there was no 'tax code'), and income taxes were only levied on those making more than $5,000 per year. An interesting fact is that, under the 1926 revenue law, tax evasion was considered a felony, while after 1928 law, it was simply a misdemeanor. That is why, when Capone was found guilty on five counts (three felonies and two misdemeanors), he received a total sentence of 11 years (two 5-year felonies served concurrently, one served independently, and two misdemeanors totalling 1 year).
Here are the relevant texts:
- "...any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof, shall...be guilty of a felony" (Sec 1114(b), Revenue Act of 1926 , 44 Stat. 116).
- "Any person required under this title to pay any tax, or required by law or regulations made under authority thereof to make a return...for the purposes of computation, assessment, or collection of any tax imposed by this title, who willfully fails to pay such tax, make such return...at the time or times required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law (i.e., fines) be guilty of a misdemeanor" (Sec 146(a), Reveune Act of 1928, 45 Stat. 835).
Fun fact: the judge at the case, refused Capone's original guilty plea, which would have given him 2.5 years in prison; he also changed the jury last-minute due to fears that the original jury had been bribed.
Capone then appealed on habeas grounds, a great discussion of which can be found on page four of this essay. h/t Bill Long