Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 61 - FOX 35 News Orlando

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 61

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  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Friday, October 11 2013 3:20 PM EDT2013-10-11 19:20:27 GMT
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
  • Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Thursday, October 10 2013 9:33 PM EDT2013-10-11 01:33:28 GMT
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
  • Judge: Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick must pay $4.7 million

    Judge: Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick must pay $4.7 million

    Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:04 PM EST2013-12-11 01:04:30 GMT
    A federal judge has granted prosecutors' request and has ordered imprisoned ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to pay $4.7 million in restitution.
    A federal judge has granted prosecutors' request and has ordered imprisoned ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to pay $4.7 million in restitution.
DETROIT -

Judge Edmunds calls a halt for the day and asks the jury to stand buy while she talks to counsel about the schedule for the week. She calls the main players up to the bench.

Rataj hangs back and Bobby is telling him something, adamantly gesturing.

Judge Edmunds tells the jury she believes the Government will conclude it's case tomorrow and she's going to give the lawyers Wednesday to prepare. Off Wednesday and start the defense witnesses Thursday. Says we won't do full days in the afternoon until closing arguments and jury instructions. And we're done for the day.

M.L. Elrick is off today, Charlie Langton is filling in and he'll have a report on Fox 2 News this evening. Talk to you all tomorrow.

12:57

Shuck counts 83 transactions for 2003, Rataj asks how many were negotiated by bobby personally, says would you believe it's 3? Shuck says she doesn't know. Rataj introduces his analysis.

Rataj asks if his documents shows who endorsed the checks. Shuck says she can't tell if the checks were endorsed as Ferguson enterprises or by Ferguson. Rataj says there are 3 and isn't it true that Mr. Ferguson didn't take the money out of the account. She says they were taken out by his wife or his employees. Rataj says they were made by other people. Yes.

Rataj is getting guidance from Evelyn now. Comes back and asks if Bobby's wife was also an employee of FEI. Yes. Shuck agrees again that the transactions were made by others.

Rataj asks if she knows that FEI owned a lot of heavy equipment. Shuck says she heard the testimony in trial, admits she doesn't know anything about the construction business. Rataj says you'd agree with me that when multiple crews were sent out they didn't just have pick axes and shovels. Shuck says she assumes they used heavy equipment.

Rataj asks if the goal was to get jobs done as fast as possible, on time and under budget. Shuck says apparently.

Judge Edmunds tells Rataj that Shuck doesn't have any foundation to answer these questions. Rataj says understanding your limited knowledge that Bobby would need cash to operate his business. You don't know what the money was used for. No.

you're not suggesting the money went into Ferguson's pocket.

12:46

Judge Edmunds instructs the jury that this evidence relates to other charges but not money laundering. Blackwell shows the summary of cash withdrawals. 2002 333,00 was withdrawn. Says this is the amount of cash withdrawn. Goes up to 407, in 2003,434 in 2004, 443 in 2005, 265 in 2006, 270 in 2007 and 495<00 in 2008, for a grand total or $2,551,357,21.

Blackwell goes back to the account list, banks are First Independence and Comerica, Shuck says she looked at both Bobby's company accounts and his wife's business accounts. Says one check for 15,000 payable to Bobby was exchanged for cash at the bank.

Rataj comes up to cross, gets her name wrong, apologizes and puts up her summary chart. Says he wants to be clear hear and correct him is he's wrong, you took the Xcel accounts, personal accounts, all the accounts. Yes.

Rataj asks how many accounts. Shuck says 9 accounts.

You agree with me that there's nothing illegal about cashing a check for cash. She says unless it relates to structuring. You just heard the judge says Bobby's not being charged with that. Yes.

Nothing illegal about having checks on hand. No.

Rataj says he conducted his own analysis of 2002. Says your chart, what did I do with it, Mr. Cheney I need help. ( he's the guy in charge of putting the documents on the screen from the clerk's computer.) Rataj asks if Bobby started out as a small excavator and took over the company from his father. Yes.

Rataj asks if she did analysis for years before 2002. Shuck says no.

12:32

Agent Shuck says Bobby's total cash withdrawals are $2,551,000. These are from accounts belonging to FEI, Xcel, and A&F Environmental/Johnson. They are now looking at a list of 9500 dollar checks from 2005. Says they are all payable to Bobby Ferguson, and the defense asks for a sidebar.

12:28

So it looks like Bobby had nearly a million in CD's in the safe along with the cash. Rosenthal says the total amount of CD's was … she's adding in her head... says proximately $1.2 million. So more than a million and 261,000 in cash, 20's, 50's, and hundreds. Blackwell now showing a picture of a town house. Rosenthal says this agents went there because they thought it was associated with Bobby, even though it was owned by someone else. They found Bobby's motorcycle and bank records, and another portable safe hidden behind the dryer in the second floor laundry room. The picture taken from above shows and silver case tucked behind the drier. The picture it open shows it too is stuffed with cash and official checks, totaling 500,820 in cashier's and official checks. Plus another 250,000 in cash. 4 officials checks for 100,000.

Blackwell asks if all the checks were found in the safe. Yes. Blackwell now shows a picture of the cash laid out on a coffee table, 50's and hundreds, in 5,000 or 2,000 bundles. Rosenthal says 275,000 dollars.

Blackwell is done and Rataj replaces her at the podium, asks if there's nothing illegal about having a safe. Rosenthal says it's legal.

Now, you would also agree with me it's not illegal to have cash at your house. Rosenthal only if it's not the result of illegal activity. Same with CD's. Rosenthal says same answer,

Rataj says as long as the money is legal. Correct . Sept 8 2012 was the raid on the town house and the Xcel office was January 15 2009.

Rataj says we've seen a bunch of pictures up here, asks if he can see the photo with the CD's. Asks if the envelopes have Brittany and Brandi written on them, asks if she knows this is for college tuition. Rosenthal says she sees the name but doesn't know what it's for.

Rataj asks abut bank straps. That the money came from a bank. Yes.

Asks if she assisted on both dates of the search warrants, and knew Bobby banked at first independence bank, the only African American bank. Rosenthal says she doesn't know about the African American part but that Bobby did bank there.

Rataj asks if when she went to the bank she showed her badge. Yes. Asks to speak to the bank manager. No, branch manager. Says she didn't say they were investigating a crime only that they wanted to see records, admits it's possible she mentioned criminal activities. Rosenthal says she knows that during her investigation the bank dumped Bobby. Rataj says the bank told bobby to get his money out. Rataj asks if the same thing happened at Paramount bank. Yes.

Rataj says and after you went to that bank they also told Bobby to get his money out. Rosenthal says she knows the relationship ended, significantly later that her investigation.

Rataj asks about N-Star bank. Rosenthal says again they investigated but says that account was terminated because there were no funds in the bank.

Rataj says wouldn't you agree with me that you KNOW that they terminated his account. No.

Rosenthal says Bobby had relationships with Comerica and other banks. Rataj adamantly says you testified in another proceeding, under oath, that you acknowledged that the banks terminated his accounts. Yes.

Rataj is red faced, on fire, telling her he has to put his money someplace, under ground, under the bed, or in a safe. Rosenthal says yes.

Rataj says you suspected he had money in a safe because the banks kicked him out. Asks if she knows that Bobby paid taxes on everything he earned. Rosenthal says she's not familiar with the tax portion of the case but has no reason to disagree with him.

He's done, no cross, Rosenthal steps down. And Calls IRS Agent Shuck to the stand. She says she examined his bank records. Shuck is also a petite female, with shoulder length black hair. She's looked at bank records and prepared a cash summary of checks, cash and cash withdrawals, relating to Ferguson's accounts.

12:00

The government calls agent Gwen Rosenthal to the stand. Rosenthal says she works on the corruption squad and has been with the FBI for 10 years. She says she served a search warrant on Xcel. Says she found records relating to contracts, bank records, and more than 200,000 in cash. Jury question... Rosenthal answers $261,500 US.

Rosenthal is a petite blond with barely shoulder length blonde hair. Jennifer Blackwell is now putting up a picture of the Guardian building, and now Ferguson's office at Xcel. Rosenthal says it's a typical executive type office, says she knows it's Ferguson's office because he had pictures of his family, awards, and the computer log in was fergy Ferguson. It's got a small kitchen area, a conference table and an interior door that leads to the bathroom. There's a sign with A-1 on the door. Rosenthal says because this was in room A the sub numbered it A-1. Next picture is from inside the bathroom looking out, you can see a train set on the floor. There's also a panel on the bathroom wall, attached with a hinge.

Rosenthal says they found a safe hidden behind the panel. Says there was also another safe and 2 lock boxes. Says in one lock box there was a manual to the safe.

Blackwell puts up a picture now of the safe with the door open. There's an envelop filling the opening marked Xcel. Blackwell puts up a picture of the safe with the envelope removed, it's stuffed with cash. Rosenthal says they also found certificates of deposit and other bank records and a couple of watches and a ring. Rosenthal says one certificate of deposit was for 400,000, a 50,000 deposit, and copies of deposits,including one for 500,000.

Also 2 payroll checks payable to Bobby from FEI.

11:45

Kwame is smiling and laughing with Bobby, he looks rested after his weekend in Jail. "All rise." Court is back in session.

11:36

And Judge Edmunds calls for a break.

11:35

Mr. Doeh is up for the prosecution. Tells Paszkiewicz he'll try not to keep her too long. She says "we'll see."

Doeh asks her about the search warrant she participated in to search Ferguson's office. Paszkiewicz says she first went to the conference room where the employees had been taken and explained to them what was going on.

Doeh asks if she then went to Bobby's office. Yes.

Puts up picture of the office. Paszkiewicz identifies it as a picture of Bobby's office.

Doeh asks her if she identified the safe. She says it's actually not in the picture but behind the desk.

Doeh asks if Ferguson came in. she says yes and he opened the safe at the request of the agents.

Now they're showing a photo of the safe. Paszkiewicz says we're looking at the safe with the door open, there's cash, she didn't personally count it but she understands it was 7,000. Says Bobby asked if he could get personal papers out. Yes, his birth certificate and drivers license.

11:28

Chutkow up, asks about the payment to "Johnson Consulants" what were the expenses related to that. Paszkiewicz says no expenses.

Chutkow asks about the 3,408,000 water main contract and asks what the city's number was. The same.

Chutkow asks about the discrepancy Rataj pointed out. Paszkiewicz says she looked at all the checks paid out and those added up to $3 million.

No re cross but Paszkiewicz stay on the stand to talk about a search warrant.

And the defense asks for a sidebar.

11:23

Rataj asks if she recalls that 1362 and got rolled into 1368. No. Rataj asks if she remembers that Insituform has the patent and FEI was involved as a subcontractor and that FEI's revenues were 8 million in dig-ups.

Rataj asks if she can give a breakdown in revenues on each job. No.

Rataj asks if 1362 was rolled into 1368. Paszkiewicz says she remembers that 1361 was rolled into 1368. Rataj says 1362 was rolled into 1368 and that 1362 was then rolled into.... and I'm lost on the numbering here...Rataj is talking fast. Paszkiewicz says she remembers which contract was rolled over but she doesn't remember hearing anything like what Rataj's asking.

Rataj now asks again about cost and expenses. Says you'll admit you don't have the costs and expenses listed here, do you ma'am, do you. Paszkiewicz calmly replies, no.

She's answered the same question several times, always honestly, nothing to hide, and Rataj is treating her like she just kicked his dog.

Rataj now asks if this is just her summation of numbers and there are things included here that are not part of trial contracts. Yes sir.

Rataj asks if one of the most important things is for a company to pay it's bills, that if you can't pay your bills you can't stay in business. Rataj says you have to pay wages and benefits. Paszkiewicz says she doesn't know about benefits.

Rataj says you have to have heavy equipment, it costs a lot to buy diesel fuel. Paszkiewicz says she doesn't know the exact price of diesel.

Rataj asks if she knows FEI was a union company. Paszkiewicz says she know he hired union workers.

Rataj asks if she know how much a tire costs on a back hoe, would be believe me if I told you it was 3-5000. Paszkiewicz says she has no idea how much a tire costs.

Rataj says the bottom line is, and you'd agree that paying bills is important. Yes.

Your chart doesn't list expenses. Paszkiewicz says right, that's why we called it revenues. Rataj says but the true story is in the expenses. Paszkiewicz says she can't say what the true story is all she listed was the revenues. It is strictly revenues.

Rataj goes on to belabor the point... and now he's done.

11:10

Chutkow has no further questions. Mike Rataj takes his place to cross examine.

Rataj asks if she would agree that Mr. Ferguson's companies were always sub contractors. Paszkiewicz says there were 2 joint ventures. Rataj asks if she would agree that he was never a prime contractor. No.

Rataj asks if she remembers hearing that there were 40 to 60 contracts let per year. Paszkiewicz says possibly more.

Rataj asks if she just added 'em all up. Yes.

Rataj put the first page of her chart back on the screen, asks if the first contract for down town water mains is the pilot project.

Rataj asks if the first 715,000 is the pilot project and Paszkiewicz says it includes more that just the pilot project.

Rataj asks if these numbers account for expenses. No. Rataj says we'll let the jury decide who is telling the truth here. Chutkow objects to the editorializing. Judge Edmunds agrees with him.

Rataj holds up a document and asks if she based her numbers on this. She says it has more pages. Rataj says this is the only page I got. Paszkiewicz says there are more pages. Rataj asks for a sidebar.

Rataj is pointing out a discrepancy between the numbers on the chart and what her previous exhibit shows. Judge Edmunds tells the jury that sometimes things get over looked or misplaced and that Rataj is now looking at the full exhibit.

Rataj resumes and says he appreciates getting the full exhibit. Asks her to look at the fourth page of a previous exhibit. Hands her a copy.

Rataj reads the dollar figure, 3,115,007. Hands the document back to Paszkiewicz. Rataj asks if that figure on her chart is 3,527,097.

Rataj flips through the documents so fast the Judge asks him to go back. He now flips to the fourth page that shows the total invoices paid, 1,729,240 and it's not 3 million. Paszkiewicz says not on this sheet, no.

Rataj asks if Hayes construction got contracts. Paszkiewicz says she doesn remember that Hayes got 2 contracts.

Rataj listed the contracts and the contractors that got them. Asks if she has any number relating to the other contractors. No.

Says here chart doesn not contain costs and expenses. Paszkiewicz says you are correct.

10:55

Chutkow moves on to page 4. These are the Walbridge contracts for Baby Creek/Patton Park, the Book Cadillac Hotel, and JOA's (Jenkins) Heilmann Recreation Center. The total here is $22 million.

Paszkiewicz says the grand total is $83,829,612.

Chutkow now puts up a demonstrative exhibit. Paszkiewicz says she looked at bank records from all of Ferguson's accounts and added up all the payments related to contracts from the City, or Economic Growth Corporation, Public Schools, says the total for those figures, total city revenues, is $124,756,491. Says these reflect all the contracts referenced in this case, that were mentioned in the case, and she counted change orders during Kilpatrick's administration.

10:41

Court is back in session. Agent Paszkiewicz tells the Judge she's feeling better now. Bullotta and Chutkow are the last to return. Judge Edmunds asks them if they thought she'd forgotten about them. Chutkow apologizes for coming back late.

Paszkiewicz picks up where she left off with the revenue summary for Bobby. Says page three total is $42 million in revenue from Inland and DPM. Adds that there's a discrepancy between the ledger and the total of the checks so she used the totals from the checks for her final figure.

Paszkiewicz says the underlying records are checks from Inland to Ferguson companies, FEI and Xcel.

10:33

Judge Edmunds says we'll take an early break. She's talking to Agent Paszkiewicz who it appears reassured the Judge she's okay. Looks like maybe she might be under the weather a little.

10:08

A Juror just asked to see the exhibit again. Chutkow puts it back on the screen so he can get the contract numbers.

Chutkow now moves on to the next page, which has a total of $42,000,000. Paszkiewicz says these revenues are from the West Side Water Main contract, the Sewer Lining Contract, and West Side Sewers that were part of Inland Waters contracts along with Insituform and DPM. Defense asks for a side bar. We're up to $59 million now.

10:03

Special Agent Paszkiewicz is brought back to the stand by Mark Chutkow. Chutkow introduces several documents into evidence. Judge Edmunds accepts them.

Paszkiewicz says the first chart shows Bobby Ferguson's Contract revenues. From the super bowl downtown water main, $715,000. From a DLZ contract she says she looked at checks. Another downtown water main, from DLZ and DWSD $3,408,000 for replacement of water mains under the previous contract. The next is $3,527,000, and the total is 7,651,112. Judge Edmunds asks for the dates. Paszkiewicz says these are from 2003 through 2007, when the last check was paid.

Next chart show Outfalls, East Side Water Main and East Side Sewer. Total her is $10,954,369. These are all 3 contracts Bobby had under Lakeshore Engineering.

These are revenue figures, looks like total revenues.

Paszkiewicz says these are totals for all the companies, Xcel and FEI, where Bobby got money. Says her accounting ledger doesn't account for every check because she tossed out a check that had a typo.

9:50

Special Agent Paszkiewicz is brought back to the stand by Mark Chutkow.

9:49

Thomas asks if he was engaged in canalizing the Civic Fund or did someone else do it. Selz says he is not aware of that. Thomas asks if he did both the tax and Fund. Selz says he just did the tax part. Thomas asks if there was a lawyer for the Civic Fund. Selz says he doesn't have any knowledge about the lawyer.

Thomas asks about the Florida A&M. Selz asks him to refresh his memory. Thomas says he talked about the deduction Kwame took for $5,000. Judge Edmunds interrupts and says you asked him if he testified. Thomas says he's been advised that... he'll correct that. Thomas makes a joke about telephones, telegraphs, and now he's been handed a note.

Now he's putting on the screen the appreciation letter from A&M thanking the Kilpatrick's for the donation. Thomas asks if he sees anything referencing the Civic Fund. Selz says no.

Thomas asks if this is a mistake and the letter should have been sent to the Civic Fund. Selz says it was possible. Thomas say it's not a willful or intentional act, just like when you told us you were certified as a fraud investigation. Correct.

Bullotta up now, asks if he even included the donation in his report. Selz says no.

Bullotta puts up the government's cash summary, asks about Carlita's account and says if all the money she had was given to Kwame, all 43,000, that number wouldn't have significantly affected his number. Selz says yes. Bullotta asks if he saw any evidence that the money was ever given to Kwame. Selz says no, that usually when there are linked accounts people don't deal in cash they make transfers.

Bullotta asks if he investigated whether Kwame had a cash hoard. Selz says no, in all the audits he's done, people put money in the closet..... Judge Edmunds upholds Thomas' objection, says he's answering beyond the scope of the question.

Bullotta asks some foundation questions. Selz explains that when he bought suits he put them

on layaway suggesting he didn't have a cash hoard.

Thomas says but you testified he went home at one point and got cash. Selz says 1500 dollars. Thomas says so he did have cash at home. Selz says yes. Thomas asks him about gifting and whether he knew that was going on. Selz says he didn't account for that. And there are no more questions so Selz is excused.

9:34

Thomas asks if he has a legal degree in accounting. No. Is a gift taxable. No. Is a loan taxable. No. Says a gift of cash or a loan could affect the figures on the government's bottom line. Selz says if that was found to be correct he'd agree.

Thomas says you indicated that there was some money you included based on oral representations and some you did not. Selz says Emma Bell very well may have given him money. That may be true or not but he looked at the cash going into the accounts, and there was a likely source.

Thomas says but you were able to discount some money counter to the assertion. Selz says it's not that easy, it's more complicated than that. Bullotta asks for a side bar.

9:28

Mr. Selz the government tax expert is back on the stand. Mike Bullotta is asking him about being certified as a fraud examiner. Bullotta asks if he checked his certification. Selz says his certification is suspended because he has further continuing education to complete. He can't use the fraud investigator designation.

Thomas asks if he went to the Detroit Business College. Thomas asks if he made mistake and is not a certified fraud investigator. Thomas says you failed to testify honestly on Friday. Selz says that's basically true. Thomas asks if certification means he did anything special to get it or just pay his dues. Selz says he paid his dues but didn't do his continuing education. Selz admits his certification lapsed last year, he just checked it last Friday.

Thomas asks if he's still an auditor. Yes. Thomas asks if he was one of two auditors that worked on the investigation. Selz says he never worked with investigators, that he worked independently. Thomas asks if he remembers that Thomas wanted him removed from the court room. Selz says yes and he understands his position.

Thomas asks if when he testified about being independent. Selz says he was brought in after the Grand Jury and did offer advice. Thomas asks if there were times they did not take his advice. Selz says there was never an item he through out when Bullotta said forget it we're not going to go that way.

Thomas asks if his view was consistent with the government from the very beginning. Selz says there was really never a time when the government went against his recommendations.

Thomas asks if he included the money from Emma Bell. Yes because she testified she gave it to Kwame. Thomas asks about money from Kado, puts up the summary chart and asks if the money from Bell and Kado were included. Selz says he doesn't know, just that a lot of cash was coming into the account. Says he doesn't know who gave him the cash just that it came from somewhere.

Thomas says there was direct testimony that there's no correlation between the cash entering the accounts and Where it came from. Bullotta's objection is over ruled. Selz says there is no way he can say where the money came from.

9:12

Kwame just walked into the court room went straight through the throng of defense attorneys to his father and gave him a big hug.  

Judge Edmunds enters the room, court is in session. She greets the attorneys and says she's glad to see everyone made it in.  

9:06

Looks like we're going to start a little late this morning, probably due to the weather, although the Lodge wasn't too bad this morning when I came in.

8:34

Good Morning from the Theodore J. Levin Federal Court House in slushy downtown Detroit.


Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for Fox 2 News. You can contact him at ken.martinek@foxtv.com

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