Lester V. Jones, a flamboyant Harford County lawyer and one-time state delegate who dazzled neighbors with his collection of classic cars, has been convicted of tax evasion by a federal jury.
Jones, 59, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison when he appears before U.S. District Senior Judge Herbert N. Maletz.
The jury deliberated two days after a two-week trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore before finding Jones guilty yesterday of evading income taxes in 1983 and 1984, having under-reported his income by nearly $290,000.
This was the second tax-evasion trial for Jones. A mistrial was declared last July when a jury could not reach verdicts on any of the counts.
Prosecutors were at a loss to explain the different result this time.
"I don't know; it was very much the same case," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph L. Evans, who prosecuted the case along with Ira Oring.
But prosecutors said the jury agreed with them that Jones knew all along how much money he made and deliberately tried to avoid his tax obligation. They said he used the money instead to buy and maintain a fleet of 24 classic automobiles and to buy condominiums in Ocean City and in North Palm Beach, Fla.
Stephen H. Sachs, the defense attorney, agreed that the trials were similar.
"It was just a different jury," said Mr. Sachs, who said he was considering an appeal.