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Former Mayor of Detroit Facing Criminal Charges

A criminal charge for a so-called white collar crime typically is a charge based increasingly on computer files, phone records and other types of circumstantial evidence. The difficulty for the prosecution may be to prove that an individual was the one who created the files, or made the phone call or transferred the funds. The difficulty for the defense may be the exact opposite. In either case, white collar crimes can lead to jail time and should be treated as serious charges.

According to multiple sources, a trial is underway in which the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, has been charged with multiple criminal offenses. It is not unusual for the prosecution to throw multiple charges at an individual in the hopes that some of them will stick. That may be the case here.

The former mayor has been charged with extortion, accepting bribes and kickbacks, mail and wire fraud, contract rigging, obstructing justice and making malicious threats to extort money. The trial is ongoing.

The main issue at hand seems to be a pair of grants.

  • A $300,000 grant awarded to Vanguard Community Development Corp.
  • A $500,000 grant awarded to Three Dimensional Community Development Corp.

The alleged issue with these grants is that the former mayor, his ex-wife and a friend are each accused of using them for personal purposes rather than for the intended purposes.

The ex-wife was awarded some money to set up a conflict resolution program, and those involved in it were dissatisfied with the results. She was partially paid for her services.

A second issue is that a building was in the process of being refurbished by the mayor's colleague. The prosecution says it was a personal dwelling and the defense states that it was intended to be a center for youths and a senior home.

The trial is expected to last for 18 weeks and has already featured testimony from many individuals.

Source: mLIVE, "Money boomerang: $137,500 in Lansing art monies find way to Kilpatrick home," Gus Burns, Sept. 28, 2012

At our Lansing law firm, we represent clients charged with white collar crimes including fraud, money-laundering, embezzlement and other types of non-violent crimes.

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