Bernard Kilpatrick to be sentenced Thursday for conviction in city hall corruption case

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Will Kwame Kilpatrick's dad go to prison or get probation?

That's up to the same judge who sentenced the former Detroit mayor to 28 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say Bernard Kilpatrick made a mint while his son was Mayor – and now it's time to pay.

In March, a jury convicted Kilpatrick of a felony tax crime – and Judge Nancy Edmunds is about to sentence him on Thursday.

Kilpatrick's son, Kwame Kilpatrick, and his friend Bobby Ferguson were both found guilty of racketeering and other corruption charges.

The jury was hung on whether Bernard Kilpatrick was part of the RICO conspiracy.  But they did agree that the 72 year old lied about his income on his 2005 taxes.

Federal prosecutors want Bernard Kilpatrick to spend between 27 and 33 months in prison.  They say through his Maestro consulting business, Kilpatrick declared income of $1.3 million while his son was in office – mostly for work he did not do.  During that same time, Kilpatrick also deposited more than $605,000 in cash.

Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer, John Shea, argues that Kilpatrick did do legitimate work.. and he's asking the judge to sentence his client to only probation – or just a very small amount of prison time.

"Even though for example the jury hung on – didn't reach a verdict on the RICO count, she can still take that into consideration, in fact she can take into consideration conduct for which he was not convicted," former federal prosecutor Peter Henning told 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.

Henning says Judge Edmunds can use other evidence that she heard at trial for her decision.

"The judge has very broad discretion here.  And I think given Bernard's role, and she's already identified that in the former mayor's sentencing, that he played a middleman role, I think she's going to view this as conduct that's going to require some prison sentence," said Henning.

Judge Edmunds sentenced Kwame Kilpatrick to 28 years in federal prison.. Ferguson is going away for 21 years.

For both men – she sentenced them to slightly less time than the federal guidelines allowed.

Whether she'll do the same for Bernard Kilpatrick remains to be seen.

"This was significant misconduct and she is taking a stand against that as a representative of society.  Her decision on sentencing is really society's judgment on these defendants, and she expressed it very clearly w/ her revulsion with what went on," said Henning.

The maximum penalty for the tax crime is 3 years in prison.  Federal prosecutors are also asking that Bernard Kilpatrick pay more than $98,000 in restitution. 

7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo will be inside the courtroom, and Investigator Ross Jones will be blogging live here on www.wxyz.com.  They will bring you all of the latest developments starting at 2:00pm on Thursday, October 17.

 

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