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Corruption matters still haunting ex-Detroit Mayor

Weary Detroit residents simply cannot escape the political corruption headlines. While Texas has seen its fair share of corruption over the years, the city of Detroit has been hammered with it. On Oct. 3, a former fundraiser for Kwame Kilpatrick, the ex-mayor of Detroit, pled guilty to tax evasion and also agreed to testify against the mayor.

According to the federal government, the woman took more than $900,000 from various groups that were connected to Kilpatrick, including his campaign committee. The woman admitted to taking money over a five-year period and that she failed to report it as income. She also stated that she often shared commission checks with the ex-mayor.

She pled guilty to tax evasion, calling her actions "just stupid." If convicted, she could get up to 18 months in federal prison. If she cooperates with the government, however, her sentence may be reduced. She also owes the IRS more than $330,000.

As for Kilpatrick, he is scheduled to go to trial in 2012 for federal fraud and tax charges. He has already spent time in prison in Michigan. He has been charged with various tax crimes, as well as tax fraud. It is not known if he had any comment regarding this latest court action.

Federal tax crime charges are very serious. Federal charges can carry long prison terms and steep fines. Those who may be facing these types of offenses and are aware that they are under investigation by the government should immediately consult with an experienced attorney who will ensure that the target's legal rights are protected. An experienced attorney may be able to explain the options available as well as offer legal strategies to reduce or eliminate the charges altogether.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Fundraiser for ex-Detroit mayor admits tax crimes," Oct. 3, 2011

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