White-Collar Crime

Ex-Detroit Mayor Pleads Poverty, Gets PD, in New Federal Tax Fraud Case


Accused in the past of living too lavish a lifestyle, an ex-lawyer and ex-mayor of Detroit has now apparently run out of money.

Appearing today in jailhouse orange and shackles at his Detroit arraignment on 19 federal tax and fraud charges, Kwame Kilpatrick, 40, pleaded not guilty, claimed poverty and was promised a public defender. However, that PD may very well be Kilpatrick’s longtime defense lawyer, James Thomas, reports the Detroit Free Press.

“This case has got a lot of history,” Thomas told reporters afterward. “I have a complete file cabinet full of material. A new lawyer is going to have to go through that material and a year of wiretaps.”

Kilpatrick is presently serving time for violation of his probation in an earlier Michigan state-court case. This is reportedly the first time he has appeared in court in prison clothes, after authorities refused to allow him to change into a suit.

Articles by the Associated Press and the Detroit News provide additional details.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “New Woes May Prove Taxing to Ex-Lawyer & Ex-Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick”

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