White-Collar Crime

New Woes May Prove Taxing to Ex-Lawyer & Ex-Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick

Already in prison for probation violation, after he was found to have spent money on a too-lavish lifestyle instead of required restitution in his obstruction case, the former mayor of Detroit is now the target of tax charges.

Kwame Kilpatrick, who agreed to give up his license to practice law as part of a plea bargain in his earlier state-court case, is now facing a 19-count federal indictment, reports the Detroit Free Press.

He is accused of violating the law by using his Kilpatrick Civic Fund to pay for personal and election campaign expenses. Its stated purpose was to pay to improve the image of the city’s neighborhoods and educate voters. Meanwhile, the fund provided Kilpatrick with $640,000 in unreported income between 2003 and 2008, the feds contend.

A spokesman for Kilpatrick is quoted in another Detroit Free Press article as saying that a five-year FBI probe didn’t find any of the wrongdoing predicted by vicious rumors. And Kilpatrick, adds spokesman Mike Paul, had no day-to-day role in running the nonprofit civic fund.

“Where is the corruption, payoffs and bribes everyone expected the FBI to find attached to former Mayor Kilpatrick and his office as Mayor? They found nothing associated with him personally,” says Paul. “Those rumors were hurtful and were lies from the pit of hell.”

If convicted on the new federal charges, the 40-year-old Kilpatrick could be sentenced to as much as 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

Additional coverage:

Detroit News: “Kwame Kilpatrick indicted on 19 counts”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Ex-Detroit mayor in trouble with the law–again “

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