Kilpatrick trial: Where did the cash come from?

(WXYZ) - Where did all the cash come from? That's the question the jury in the Kilpatrick corruption case has to weigh as federal prosecutors detail alleged tax violations for Detroit's former mayor.

The IRS agent on the stand Thursday told the jury that Kwame Kilpatrick was living beyond his means-- and not by just a little bit: by more than $840,000.

But the defense is saying there's more to the story.

IRS Agent Ron Sauer spent hours on the witness stand in the Kilpatrick corruption trial – showing the jury spread sheets and records that detailed Kwame Kilpatrick's cash deposits and other transactions from his time in office.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, and his friend Bobby Ferguson are on trial, accused of running a criminal enterprise out of city hall. Federal prosecutors are currently trying to prove the income tax evasion case against Kilpatrick.

According to Agent Sauer, between 2002 and 2008, after taxes, Kilpatrick took home $605,777.57.

Sauer then showed the jury that Kilpatrick's expenditures in that 6-year time frame totaled  $1,446,739.90 and said "Kwame Kilpatrick was living beyond his means."

Agent Sauer also reminded the jury about the thousands of dollars in personal expenses the feds allege Kilpatrick paid for with his non-profit fund.

"It's not our obligation nor do we have any duty to explain the cash. The government has to prove that there was in fact something illegal going on," said Kilpatrick's lawyer Jim Thomas.

Thomas says the jury must wait until he finishes his cross examination to hear the whole story, but already Thomas published thousands of dollars in checks that he says are from a birthday party Kilpatrick had at the Atheneum Hotel. Thomas says party-goers gave the former mayor cash and checks as non-taxable gifts.

"As it has been with all these witnesses, when you just listen to direct then you only have one point of view, you have to hear the whole thing," said Thomas.

Meanwhile, the jury heard more from the feds on their allegation Bernard Kilpatrick tried to get his client, Capital Waste Management, work at the Book Cadillac project.  Federal prosecutors allege Bernard wanted to mess with Jenkins Construction which was working on the hotel rehabilitation.

On Thursday, his lawyer, John Shea, got FBI Agent Bob Beeckman to admit there was no evidence Bernard Kilpatrick ever filed a formal complaint with any agency about Jenkins and no evidence that any actions were taken against Jenkins. Shea says Kilpatrick was just doing his job as a consultant.

"You're doing work for a client, and your client complains that they're not being treated fairly with respect to a certain aspect of the city contracting process, and the consultant's job is to go out there and try to advocate for the client's interest when those complaints arise," said Shea.

As for the tax case against Kilpatrick, Jim Thomas says he has several more hours of cross examination to do with the IRS agent Friday. But we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in this case – several sources say that the feds should be resting their case early next week. 
 

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