As trial resumes, focus shifts to Bernard Kilpatrick's taxes

As trial resumes, focus shifts to Bernard Kilpatrick's taxes

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

It was back to work for all sides in the corruption trial of Kwame Kilpatrick as testimony focused on the former mayor's father and allegations of tax evasion.

For four months, Bernard Kilpatrick was largely a peripheral player in the Kilpatrick Incorporated Trial.  Thursday, the former mayor's father took center stage.

Bernard Kilpatrick's finances may have left some jurors scratching their heads.  Stories of big bucks swirled around the courthouse, stories that prosecutors say show that Kilpatrick cheated the government out of nearly $185,000 in taxes.

"The conclusions are based on certain assumptions and extrapolations," said John Shea.

The elder Kilpatrick's attorney suggests his client might have been a sloppy bookkeeper, but he says that's not the same as setting out to defraud the government.

"There [are] concepts of intent and knowledge and wilfulness that the jury is going to have to wrestle with when it comes to determining if someone has committed a crime," Shea said.

Kilpatrick's accountants at Alan Young and Associates testified that they didn't know about all the money the mayor's father received in some years and so they didn't report it on his tax forms.

But Kilpatrick's attorney says no one's perfect, and he expects to show the jury Friday why the government's case has some flaws.

"You overcome it by demonstrating alternate explanations for the assumptions and the conclusions that the experts draw.  You demonstrate it by alternate explanations, if there are inaccuracies, why they might be.  I mean, I've probably never filed a tax return that's a hundred percent accurate.  I don't know if anybody ever has," said Shea.

Shea is a brave man.  You won't catch me copping to tax errors outside a courthouse full of feds hungry for blood.  Of course, those feds are pretty busy now making their case that Bernard Kilpatrick hid hundreds of thousands in income.

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