Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was found guilty of multiple counts of racketeering and extortion, a jury decided Monday. Kilpatrick was convicted of a multitude of charges, including racketeering, extortion, attempted extortion, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
Jurors deliberated for 15 days before announcing that they were ready to vote on a verdict. The 12 members of this jury have spent 79 hours total deliberating all the details from the five-month trial.
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The five month corruption trial alleged that Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson ran a criminal enterprise out of Detroit’s City Hall. Prosecutors said the former Detroit mayor, who has already served over a year in prison for perjury, spent $840,000 more during his tenure than he earned. They’ve charged the former 42-year-old mayor with 33 criminal offenses that include charges of tax fraud, bribery, extortion and RICO charges. Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick have also been accused of racketeering charges.
Kilpatrick defense attorneys deny the charges. They admit that the former mayor accepted cash gifts from his friends, but say he’s broken no laws.
Among other accusations from the case, federal prosecutors have said that Kilpatrick operated a fund for the needy called the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, with the aim of helping Detroiters in need. Instead, they said, the former mayor used the money for yoga classes, golf clubs and vacations.
They’ve also targeted $84 million in contracts given to Kilpatrick’s friend Bobby Ferguson. Detroit businessman Tony Soave and other businesspeople with city work say they were forced to hire Ferguson as a subcontractor if they wanted to win city deals. In court, Soave told jurors that Kilpatrick racked up $389,000 in travel on his private plane.