Feds say defendants ran "Kilpatrick, Inc." out of mayor's office; bullied those in their way

(WXYZ) - Federal prosecutors called Kwame Kilpatrick and his co-defendants "Kilpatrick Incorporated" – telling the jury over and over again that the three men were all about making money for themselves.

The courtroom was packed – filled with the highest leaders from the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys Office.
And Assistant U. S. attorney Michael Bullotta used a multi-media presentation to wrap up five months of testimony with drama and one main theme: Kilpatrick Incorporated was wrong and it was criminal.

Federal prosecutors have to prove that a Kilpatrick Enterprise existed – and on Monday, they gave it a new name: "Kilpatrick Incorporated."  Assistant U. S. Attorney Michael Bullotta delivered a powerful closing argument to a jury that seemed to follow his every word… asking them to convict Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, and his friend Bobby Ferguson of racketeering and conspiracy.

Bullotta took the jury back to the beginning of the trial – using a power point presentation to drive home key text messages and witness statements that were put into evidence during the last 5 months.

The federal prosecutor said Kilpatrick Incorporated was a private profit machine and used a text message from Ferguson to sum up the case: "No deal without me." 

Bullotta then walked the jury through key witnesses – like Tony Soave, who said Detroit's former mayor told him he needed to hire Ferguson in order to get a $50 million sewer lining contract.

Bullotta told the jury that even though the defendants want you to believe they liked to help minority business owners – he said, "the only color that really mattered to Kilpatrick Incorporated was green" – it was all about the money.

Bullotta reminded the jury about all of cash that poured into Kilpatrick's accounts while he was in office – and made sure to use key words to point out the alleged crimes as he walked through the main themes of the trial – saying at times "that's bribery" or "that's mail fraud."  He also pointed out Kilpatrick's lavish lifestyle – trips, massages, and facials, all allegedly funded by the former mayor's non-profit Civic Fund.

"I don't think that I'm going to comment at all on the evidence. So you don't have to worry about that until you hear me tomorrow. And I'll have plenty to say," said Kilpatrick's lawyer Jim Thomas. 

Thomas is up first for defense closing arguments Tuesday, followed by John Shea for Bernard Kilpatrick.  Due to a last minute schedule change, court will not be held Wednesday, which means Ferguson lead attorney Gerald Evelyn will present his closing arguments on Thursday, with rebuttal from Assistant U. S. Attorney Mark Chutkow after that.

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