Kilpatrick indicted on mail fraud, tax evasion charges

From the Detroit Free Press:

A 19-count federal indictment accuses former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of carrying out a scheme, hatched 11 years ago, to use his non-profit Kilpatrick Civic Fund to pay for personal and campaign expenses in violation of the law.

If convicted of the charges, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The indictment says that Kilpatrick, 40, currently imprisoned for probation violation, used civic fund money to pay friends and relatives and for items ranging from countersurveillance and anti-bugging equipment to yoga and golf lessons, golf clubs and summer camp for his children.

From the AP:

DETROIT (AP) — Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, already in state prison for probation violations stemming from his conviction for lying about an affair with his chief of staff, was indicted Wednesday on federal fraud and tax charges for allegedly using his charity as a slush fund.

Federal prosecutors said the alleged scheme is related to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a tax-exempt fund that was supposed to pay for voter education and other purposes. Instead, they accuse the former mayor of taking cash payments from the fund for himself, friends and relatives. He is charged with filing false tax returns for 2003 through 2007 and evading taxes in 2008, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors accused Kilpatrick, a Democrat, of failing to report at least $640,000 in taxable income between 2003 and 2008, which includes money, private jet flights and personal expenses paid by the civic fund.

The government said he used the money to pay for yoga and golf lessons, golf clubs, summer camp for his kids, personal travel, moving expenses, as well as "counter-surveillance and anti-bugging equipment."

Kilpatrick spokesman Mike Paul said his family was aware that the indictment could be coming. He said it shows that after three years investigating Kilpatrick, federal officials didn’t charge him with public corruption linked to his job as mayor, proving that those allegations only were rumors.

In May, a Wayne County Circuit judge sentenced Kilpatrick to up to five years in prison for violating probation after he was convicted of lying under oath about the affair.

The former mayor will be arraigned on the federal charges on July 13. The Associated Press left messages Wednesday afternoon seeking comment from attorney James Thomas, who represented Kilpatrick through the 2008 criminal cases, and with Arnold Reed, who represented the former mayor after Kilpatrick was sent to prison last month for violating his probation.

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