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U.S.: Kilpatrick filed false tax returns

DETROIT, Jan. 23 (UPI) — Federal prosecutors began presenting evidence Wednesday that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick failed to pay taxes on alleged ill-gotten gains.

Gregory Terrell, who prepared Kilpatrick’s tax returns from 2003 to 2007, testified Kilpatrick told him most of his income came from his mayoral salary — $168,151 in 2003 — the Detroit Free Press reported. That year, the mayor reported less than $20,000 in additional income.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow put bank statements into evidence showing Kilpatrick put $531,401.72 in his accounts during those years. The government charges most of that money came from bribes and kickbacks.

Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard, Bobby Ferguson, an old friend and city contractor, and Vincent Mercado, former head of the water department, are charged with conspiring in a bribery and kickback scheme.

Jurors heard an audio recording Tuesday of a phone conversation that showed Bernard Kilpatrick threatening to “pull the plug” on a contract unless the company involved paid money to his girlfriend’s company, The Detroit News reported.

A former Cadillac dealer testified that the former mayor paid for a leased vehicle with a check on the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, which was started by Kilpatrick relatives with the ostensible purpose of improving the city through voter education and crime prevention.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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