Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 7 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 7



The judge is calling for an early adjournment instead of coming back with AGent (Beckman).  We're done for the day. 


SAuer is excused.  Now this is karma coming back to bite me.  The next witness is the agent whose name came up earlier which I misspelled.  Let's hope he's asked to say his name and spell it for the record so I can get it right.  Short break.


Thomas asks SAuer about investigator's note the  say EB stored money in her mattress and her drawer.  So now we have money being stored in a mattress, a shoe, and a vacuum cleaner.


Thomas asks if Sauer considered that Bell was saving cashier's checks to spend in 2008 rather than giving the money to Kilpatrick.  Sauer says he did consider it.

Thomas asks if he checked records at any other Casino's, Sauer answered that he couldn't say definitively that he did.


Thomas now showing a list that he says is SAuer's list of Bell's yearly earning for 2003 through 2008.  SAuer says this list is now her yearly earnings but the total amount of money she got from the Kilpatrick funds.

Thomas is asking if there's an upward trend in the money she gets from the Kilpatrick funds and that her gambling activity also going up.  Sauer he sees the trend.

WE're looking at a list that shows the years 2003-2008 and the dollar figures start at $119,000 and trend up to$278,000 in 2007 and then drop to $67,000 in 2008.


Thomas now back on Bell's Greektown records.  Thomas points out that Bell bet more than $800,000 but Sauer points out that she got nearly that amount back so this figure shows the same money going in and out and again points out that it's a slippery figure.

Thomas is making hay on the huge gambling activity by Bell.


Thomas again.  Asking if ere are any documents Kwame co-signed a check, no tape recordings.  Sauer says no, but there are text messages.  Thomas cuts him off and says "I asked about tape recordings."

Thomas asking if there are no corroborating large deposits in Kwame's bank account.


Bullotta asks if Sauer is aware of other witnesses who saw Bell go into rooms with Kwame. SAuer says yes.

12:01 PM

Ouch, Bell has to pay the bribe and the tax according to the prosecutors. 


Bullotta asks about first meetings with Bell.  Sauer says at first meeting Bell told Sauer she only split checks of more than $20,000 but at the second meeting she told Sauer she split checks $5,000 and above.  Bullotta asks was Kwame getting more money then?  Sauer says yes, Bell didn't want Kwame to sound petty, that in her mind she was trying to protect him, that she thought of Kwame like a son.

Sauer says bell plead guilty to 2 counts of tax evasion and is being held accountable to the whole amount of her tax liability.  Bribes are not deductible and she has to pay tax on that.


Sauer now testifying that he got more information after 2010 and the updated record is more accurate.

Sauer says there was one cashier's check for $42,000 the bank didn't give him but he got it from the defense.  Doesn't know what happened to that money.


Bullotta now asking about Bell's gambling debts.  Did Emma Bell make enough money in 2005 to cover her gambling debts if she split checks with Kilpatrick and Sauer say based on his review yes.  Same for the next year.

The records show that for one year Bell dropped more than $700,000 into the slot machines.  Bullotta asks Sauer if that total also counts money she won and put back in and Sauer says yes.


Thomas asks if, now looking at the transcript, Sauer remember saying Bell kept the full money for herself, Sauer says that's what the record reflects.

Bullotta now on redirect.  SAuer is now reading the whole paragraph that Thomas was referring to.  Bullotta asks is there anything in the record that says anything about Kwame saying she could keep the money for her birthday and Sauer says there is not.


Thomas want to know if Sauer remembers Bell telling him that Kwame told her she could keep a $50,000 check because it was her birthday.  Sauer says he would have to refer to the documents. Thomas says no, he wants to test SAuer's memory.  Sauer says he recalls a conversation about a birthday but can't recall what Kwame told her.

Thomas asks again.Prosecution objects as argumentative. Thomas says he'll move on.

Thomas asks if Bell stole the money.  Sauer says the checks were made out to her so it isn't stealing.


Thomas asks Sauer knew Bell was an alcoholic.  SAuer says Bell mentioned  she had a drinking problem.


Thomas is now asking about Bell's testimony to the grand jury where she says she split the money from the checks she got from the non-profits with Kwame Kilpatrick.


Thomas is now asking if the deal Bell cut with the government cuts down the amount of time she'll spend in jail.  Sauer is saying he believes that is correct. 


Thomas asks do you remember telling the grand jury there was not direct corroboration between the money taken out of Bell's account and the money going into Kwame's account?  Sauer says he does.


Thomas says there is no corroboration that Bell was giving this money to Kilpatrick and Sauer says there is.  Thomas asks did anyone see Bell give money to the Mayor and Sauer says no.  Witnesses? No.  Text messages. No. 

Thomas, " so your corroboration is that Bell took money out of her account and that's all"  SAuer says there are also Kwame's record of bank deposits. 


Thomas asks if Sauer considered that Bell was taking the cashier's checks to the casino and not paying Kwame.  Sauer answers that he knew about the gambling.


Thomas is now showing a document listing Bell's gambling debts from the Greektown CAsino showing BEll  lost $39,000 in 2006, in 2007 and lost more than $56,000.  IN 2008 she lost 10;S of thousands more.


Thomas is now asking if Sauer pulled Bell's gambling records.  Sauer says the government has the records but the document Thomas is now showing is a different format than the one the government received.

Thomas is now adding up Bell's gambling spending, gross bets.  Thomas asks," were you aware that on that day she put into play $9,000."  Sauer says Gross Bets is a slippery number because it could be the same money played over and over.

Sauer agrees it looks like Bell was gambling.


Sauer says the the cashier's check Bell bought total $18,000 and total Bell used $12,046.00 to pay personal bills.  Thomas says bell spent the money and didn't have enough to pay Kwame the alleged $15,000 payment

Sauer says Bell had other CAshiers checks available at the time.


Thomas is now asking if Bell had, at one point to potential, to give Kilpatrick $18,000 and Sauer says that's not correct.  Now Sauer is trying to figure out what spread sheet Thomas is talking about.  Thomas is asking Sauer to bear with him for a second.

Thomas now pointing to a bank generated spread sheet showing a list of cashiers checks.  Sauer says he sees it on the bank document but didn't have it on the one he prepared.


Thomas just asked a series of questions about SAuer's testimony to the grand jury and Bell's records but didn't have the documents readily available.  Sauer says Thomas will have to refresh his memory and Thomas says he'll get the documents for him.


They're looking at a May 2008 transaction now for a $25,000 transaction where bell paid her credit card, and made a few other transactions including purchasing cashier's check that Thomas says it's alleged she gave Kilpatrick between $10,000-$15,000.  SAuer says it's an old chart and Thomas asks if he wants to show him a newer chart and Sauer says he doesn't have one with him on the stand.


Thomas asks if the document he prepared has evolved, if he included a transaction the defense found, and Sauer says yes.


Thomas asks Sauer if he knew that Bell knew she could avoid filing a financial transaction report by keeping her transactions under $10,000 and Sauer says he did.


court is back in session.  Agent Sauer is standing next to the witness box waiting to be seated.  I'm not  fashion oriented kind of guy (ask my wife)  but Susan VAn Dusen stands out today in her bright red blazer.  Everyone else at the defense table is wearing dark suits except Bernard Kilpatrick who is wearing  a khaki colored suit.  I think it's khaki, it might be taupe.


Kwame Kilpatrick is back in his seat, sitting back in his chair with his head propped up by his left arm. He's the only one at the defense table, sitting expressionless.


STill on break.  Jim Thomas is going over exhibits with Mike Naughton at the podium.  Prosecutors are chatting together behind the prosecution table.  all the defendants left the court room.


The Judge orders a break. So we're taking 5.  Thomas says he'll get into Bell's plea agreement when we come back.


Thomas asks if Bell was allowed to plead to reduced charges.  Sauer says he knew Bell plead to tax charges.


SAuer says she justified her lying because she didn't want them to know she split the small checks.  Thomas asks is that because she did' want to make him (Kilpatrick) look petty.


Thomas says Bell lied to the government and Sauer says yes, Bell told investigators that she only split big checks with Kilpatrick when in fact she was splitting smaller checks as well.


Thomas asks if Bell was concerned about being charged with a crime.  Sauer says they had a conversation about it.  Thomas says Bell new she was "structuring" and Sauer says he had not determined that.  Thomas is setting the stage to show that the government didn't charge Bell with a crime to get her testimony against Kilpatrick.

Thomas says it's also clear that Bell told Sauer about a scheme.  Sauer says yes.

Thomas says BEll told them she didn't split money with Kilpatrick on checks for less than $20,000.


SAuer says he met with Emma and her attorney and Bullotta and Bachman (pronounced Beckman) and others.  My apologies to AGent Beckman for the botched spelling.


Thomas."you're meeting were about the amount of money miss bell funneled to Mr Kilpatrick were they not?"  SAuer says yes.


Thomas says he's not talking about the old spreadsheet to trick Sauer or anything.   Sauer says he's uncomfortable with using an old spreadsheet that's not accurate.  Thomas asking about meetings with Bell continuing to ask her about the checks she received.


Thomas now asking Sauer about a payment to Bell and asking Sauer about Bell's claim that Kilpatrick received a range of payments between 10 and 15 thousand dollars. Thomas asks if this document was put together to help refresh Bell's memory and SAuer says no.


Thomas now asking about a series of documents from April 2008 showing payments to Bell by Kilpatrick entities prepared by Sauer.  Sauer says this is an old document and not accurate and the information has changed.  Thomas wants to talk about the differences and Sauer says he needs the new spreadsheet to be accurate.


Thomas wants to know if Sauer knew Bell purchased a fur coat and donated to the NAACP which were personal expenses.  Sauer is looking at the documents. says yes these are personal expenses.


Thomas is now asking if Bell should have been charged with a crime for "structuring" her finances to avoid having to declare the money.  Sauer says they had discussions with Bell About this and that Bell knew that if she kept the checks below 10,000 dollars and one cent she could avoid having to declare it.


When/if, Emma Bell takes the stand, all this questioning by Thomas about her tax problems, will be a big factor as the jury hears her testimony.  Thomas stated in court that Bell  is gong to claim that some of the money from these cashiers checks went into Kwame's pocket.


Thomas is now asking about a $50,000 check of which Bell got $10,000.  Thomas asks if this was a calculated concealment and Sauer agrees.


Sauer testifies that there was $100,000 that he couldn't find.  Thomas wants to know why the defense was able to come up with more records when he couldn't.  Thomas says they found another cashier's check for 48,000.  Sauer agrees the bank came up with another record after the defense asked the bank to look again.


Thomas is now asking about Bell keeping cashiers checks instead of making deposits to keep the money out of the hands of the IRS.   Thomas asks if Sauer know if Bell took any of the checks to a casino to cash and Sauer say he has no evidence of that.

Thomas asks if SAuer knew that Bell hasn't filed tax returns for many years.


Thomas asks if he knew why Bell only kept a few hundred dollars in her account and Sauer's says to keep the money from being levied by the IRS.  SAuer says there was on IRS levy against Bell.

SAuer now says the checks Bell used to get the cashiers checks were written to her personally and were from the various Kilpatrick non-profits.


Thomas asks if he knows that lawyers were giving advice to the fund and Sauer agrees.  Sauer also testifies that Kwame was not the manager of the fund, he removed his name from the paperwork much earlier.  Thomas asks if  he knows that Bell did not have check writing authority and that Bell had IRS problems.  Sauer's says he knew that because Bell told him she had tax problems.


Thomas asks if Sauer knew that Emma Bell was getting a percentage of the money she  raised and Sauer says he did know that.


Jim Thomas now asking about one of those entities called Next Vision.  Thomas asks Sauer, this wasn't related to Kilpatrick and Sauer says it was run by his Sister Ayana and his wife was getting a salary.  Thomas asks if he understands that a person can draw a salary from a civic fund and Sauer agrees.


They're going through more transactions now.  This is where the government says Kilpatrick defrauded donors to the Kilpatrick for Mayor, Kilpatrick inaugural Committee, and other Kilpatrick related non-profits totaling more than $286,000.  The transactions they're talking about  show that Bell got several checks from the entities, bought cashiers checks, and  then cashed them later.


THey're following one transaction now.  Bell got about $80,000, bought cashiers checks, payable to several people, but Bell got  checks made out to her for $10,000 and one for $20,000.


Bullotta asking about Jan 17 transactions.  SAuer says she got 50, 000 that day and purchased 40,000 in cashiers check.

On the 18th she took one $10,000 check back to the bank, turned it in for cash.


Jan 17 2006 is when Sauer says bell got $50,000 after cashing a check then purchase $40,000 in cashiers checks.  Sauer says he traced the cashiers checks to Emma Bell and Angela Buress.  3 for $10 grand to Bell and one 10 grand check to Buress.

He says Bell then cashed one check and got cash.  Sauer says he followed the checks and money transactions to "conclusion."


Bullotta asking if Sauer knows Emma Bell.  Sauer says she was the primary fundraiser for Kwame Kilpatrick's various non-profits related his Inaugural Committee and other Mayoral campaign non-profits.


ASsistant Federal Prosecutor Mike Bullotta is now walking Sauer through the timeline, UNITE incorporated in July 2000, contract with Detroit 3-D signed October 2000, check deposited shortly thereafter.


New witness.  AGent Sauer, special to the IRS.  This is the witness we heard from yesterday who followed the money from the check issued by the state to the Non-profit.

Now he's talking about CArlita Kilpatrick's company UNITE and looking at the incorporation documents for the company. 

Sauer say yes it's a for profit company as it was incorporated with the state.


Van Dusen asking if the establishment of a training area to train people in demolition trade would be considered economic development?  Bartlett says he thought they grant was supposed to be used for training, not for purchasing or preparing a training area.

Van Dusen says, "Sir, did you hear me ask anything about the purchase of a building in my question."  Bartlett says he thought he heard her talk about  preparation.

Bartlett is excused.


VAn Dusen up,  she's asking if Bartlett would consider the building of a training area to be economic development and Bartlett says yes. 


Thomas  is drawing a comparison between Vanguard, which got the second half of its grant, and 3-D which did not.  Thomas is basically saying if it's okay for one company it should be okay for the other.  I should point out that nobody is claiming that vanguard used the money to furnish a fancy office for the company president.


Kwame's attorney Jim Thomas is up.  He's asking about an email from Don Gilmer that he was copied on.  They're talking about Donna Williams the grant writer for non-profit Van Guard.  Bartlet says suddenly there was a property involved and that caused concern.  Bartlett agrees with Thomas that the email from the state says that at least to Van Guard, if there was proper documentation, the State would have no problem with renovations.  Vanguard is the second Non-profit in the case and it's owned by Bishop Van.


Prosecution now up.  Bartlett testifies that remodeling an office would not be considered economic development.


Susan VAn Dusen is continuing her Cross exam.  She's Ferguson's attorney.  she's asking him about and interview he had with the FBI.  Bartlett says he reviewed the grant paperwork.  This is a continuation of the testimony about the non-profit owned by Bobby Ferguson.  Van Dusen is asking if economic development is part of the grant and Bartlett agrees.

The government contends that using the non-profit company 3-D that Bobby got grant money from the state and used part of the money to remodel his offices.


Kelly Bartlett is back on the stand this morning.  He worked in the Legislative Liaison Office.  The Judge is passing along instructions to the jury about what the letters mean on the exhibits and tells the they'll get an index of the exhibits before they start deliberating.


"All Rise"  The Judge says the jury sent her a note asking for the attorneys to get their exhibit numbers organized. "for what it's worth." says Judge Edmunds.


All the attorneys and defendants are now seated and wafting for the Judge.


Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson are now sitting at the defense table, heads together, talking quietly.  We haven't seen much of co-defendant Victor Mercado yet.  He's usually the first defendant to be seated every morning, as he was this morning.  He and his attorney sit closest to the bench, along the side wall.  A couple seats to his right, following the table toward the back of the room is Bernard Kilpatrick.  This table is along the inside wall of the court room and faces the center podium. Around the corner Bobby sits closest  to the wall facing the Judge and one seat away from the center aisle is Kwame.  His attorney Jim Thomas sits in the seat on the center aisle.

8:52 am

Good morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House in downtown Detroit.  The Defense Attorneys are sitting down at the defense table.  Bernard Kilpatrick is in the room but Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson have not arrived yet.  Kwame's attorney Jim Thomas is conferring with prosecutors and getting copies of exhibits. 

Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for WJBK-TV Fox 2 News Detroit.  He will be writing live updates from the courthouse through the duration of the Kilpatrick corruption trial.

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