Kilpatrick defense fights unexplained cash mystery

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer tried explaining away $123,000 in cash deposited into the political consultant’s bank account in 2004 at a time when prosecutors allege he was extorting money from city contractors.

Defense attorney John Shea tried to blunt testimony from IRS Special Agent Rowena Schuch about Kilpatrick’s finances, suggesting the money was not taxable income and could have reflected loan repayments.

“If he loaned money to somebody in 2003 and he received a cash repayment in 2004, and he deposited that into his personal account, you have no way of knowing whether the cash was a loan repayment or not, correct?” Shea asked.

“Correct,” Schuch said.

“You have no idea if Mr. Kilpatrick borrowed $5,000 in cash and deposited it into one of his accounts, correct?” Shea asked.

“Correct,” Schuch said.

Prosecutors have spent parts of two days analyzing Kilpatrick’s finances, which soared dramatically during his son’s tenure as Detroit mayor.

The government alleges he understated his income, filed false tax returns, deposited more than $605,000 in cash during his son’s tenure and lost almost $218,000 gambling in Detroit and Las Vegas.

Shea later conceded his client understates his income in 2005 but the error was not “willful,” and not illegal.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at rsnell@detnews.com or (313) 222-2028.