Thomas G. Clines, a former intelligence official who became an international arms dealer, was convicted Tuesday of four income tax charges stemming from his role in shipping weapons to the Nicaraguan rebels in the Iran-Contra affair.
Clines, 62, was found guilty of underreporting his income from the arms transactions on his tax returns for 1985 and 1986. He was also convicted of failing to disclose to the Internal Revenue Service that he controlled foreign bank accounts containing more than $10,000 in those years.A jury in Federal District Court in Baltimore reached its verdict after less than three hours of deliberations. District Judge Norman Ramsey set the sentencing for Oct. 31. The charges on which he was convicted carry a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison and $1 million in fines.
Clines' lawyer, Paula Junghans, said she and her client were ``very disappointed' by the verdict.
Lawrence Walsh, the independent prosecutor in the Iran-contra case, said he was grateful to the court and the jury. Stuart Abrams, the chief prosecutor, said he ``appreciated the jury's fair consideration.'
Clines is the eighth person to be successfully prosecuted in the affair, which centered on the secret sales of missiles and spare parts to Iran, with some of the proceeds used to help finance private arms shipments to the Nicaraguan rebels, who were then fighting the Sandinista government.