Troubles continue to mount for the beleaguered former mayor of Detroit.

In addition to being sent back to jail last month for violating terms of his probation, Kwame Kilpatrick now faces 19 federal charges that include mail and wire fraud, and income tax evasion.

According to a June 23 indictment, which comes seven years into an IRS and FBI probe, Kilpatrick spent recklessly during his tenure.

The former mayor tapped into the $640,000 Civic Fund – a social welfare program that he had created three years before he became mayor – for campaign and personal expenses, the document read. Among some of the expenditures were polling, yoga and golf lessons for Kilpatrick, to summer camp for his children and college tuition for relatives.

Some of the money had even been spent on a video detailing the Kilpatrick family history, as well as for counter surveillance and anti-bugging equipment, the Detroit Free Press reported.

While authorities claim the fund was established as a money-making scheme for Kilpatrick and his cohorts, many Detroit residents believed it was meant to enhance the city and improve its image. The indictment further claims that donors had been misled into thinking their contributions would be used for legal purposes.

Kilpatrick, known for a lavish lifestyle of private jets, designer clothing, extravagant dining and luxurious living accommodations, benefitted from the fund both while in and out of office. But he reportedly failed to include the spending on his tax returns from 2003 to 2008.

“This indictment sends a clear message that those who make up their own rules based on fraud and deceit will be prosecuted,” Maurice Aouate, head of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Detroit, was quoted as saying by the Free Press.

If convicted of the latest charges, Kilpatrick, who has asked to be put into a boot camp program for his current conviction, could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He learned of the new indictments this week at the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee, Mich., where he is serving up to five years for the probation violation.

 

DorothyRowley

AFROStaffWriter