Judge Hands Down Very Nearly The Longest Sentence Ever To Public Official For Corruption And Tax Fraud

Kilpatrick was eventually convicted of the most serious of the charges against him, including one count of tax fraud. The sentencing recommendations called for at least 28 years for Kilpatrick’s role in robbing the City of Detroit of millions of dollars. Kilpatrick’s attorneys argued for much less time: about 15 years.

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It was very nearly the longest sentence ever handed down to a public official for corruption – and tax fraud. Today, Kwame Kilpatrick, the former mayor of Detroit, once considered a bright light on the national political stage, was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

It’s a stark turn-around from 2001 when Kwame Malik Kilpatrick became the youngest person ever elected mayor in the city. Kilpatrick’s campaign focused on the promise of a better Detroit. He was eventually regarded as one of they worst mayors of all time.

A jail sentence won’t be anything new for Kilpatrick. Prior to the federal charges served in 2010, Kilpatrick had already been charged and spent jail time for multiple felony counts, including perjury, obstruction of justice, misconduct, and conspiracy. He took a plea for those charges, agreeing to limited time in jail, $1 million in restitution to the City of Detroit and the surrender of his law license. Reportedly, he attempted to hide assets while in jail – including making misrepresentations about his assets – and was sentenced to additional jail time as punishment.

While Kilpatrick was in jail on felony charges, he was indicted on a number of federal counts of fraud and tax evasion. Among the allegations was the claim that Kilpatrick used a tax-exempt charity, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, to pay personal expenses including cars and personal trips. He was also accused of filing false tax returns for the years 2003-2007 by not reporting $470,951 in income and failing to report $171,751 in income for 2008.


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