What do you award a guy who already has a monogrammed, bespoke, Orange Jumpsuit?
Kwame Kilpatrick illegally used the nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund like a piggy bank to pay for crisis consultants, a Cadillac, trips — even summer camp for his kids — a federal grand jury said Wednesday, charging the former mayor with 19 counts of fraud and tax evasion.
The indictment comes seven years after Internal Revenue Service and FBI agents began looking into the fund in the wake of a Free Press report that a homeless shelter operator gave the fund $50,000 during Kilpatrick’s first run for mayor in 2001. The newspaper reported that Kilpatrick then wrote a letter recommending the shelter receive a multimillion-dollar public contract.
Despite Kilpatrick’s repeated claims to the contrary, the indictment says he used fund money for campaign and personal expenses, ranging from polling to yoga and golf lessons to college tuition for relatives.
Prosecutors contend he failed to report more than $640,000 in taxable income while mayor that he received in the form of cash, flights on private jets and perks paid for out of the civic fund.
“This indictment sends a clear message that those who make up their own rules based on fraud and deceit will be prosecuted,” said Maurice Aouate, head of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Detroit.
The indictment did not include public corruption charges, a point Kilpatrick spokesman Mike Paul seized upon.
He called speculation that the former mayor was involved in bribery schemes “lies from the pit of hell!”
“The FBI found nothing remotely close to that in their investigation because it never happened! This investigation puts an end to the ridiculous rumors that the mayor was personally involved with corruption, payoffs and bribes.”
Two questions behind this prosecution -
1) Why aren’t the Feds convicting Republican David Vitter for “Ho’ Fraud” – using federal money to pay for prostitutes? Or whatever happened to the criminal prosecution of Tom Delay?
2) What do you award a guy who already has an Orange Jumpsuit with his name on it?