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Former Detroit mayor indicted on federal fraud, tax charges

DETROIT - Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, already in prison for probation violations, was indicted yesterday on federal fraud and tax charges, accused of a turning a charity into a personal slush fund for cash, travel, yoga, summer camp and even anti-bugging equipment.

It was the latest blow for Kilpatrick, who in May was sent to state prison for at least 14 months for violating probation in a 2008 criminal case tied to sexually explicit text messages and an affair with a top aide.

The indictment said Kilpatrick, 40, created the Civic Fund in 1999 and gained tax-exempt status after declaring it would be a social-welfare organization to enhance neighborhoods, help youth and improve Detroit's image.

The government, however, said the goal seemed to be to enrich Kilpatrick. He is charged with failing to report at least $640,000 in taxable income between 2003 and 2008, the value of the cash, private jet flights and personal expenses paid by the fund.

Kilpatrick used the fund to pay for yoga and golf, camp for his kids, travel, moving expenses to Texas, a crisis manager, cars, polling, political consulting, "counter-surveillance and anti-bugging equipment," according to the indictment.

Kilpatrick spokesman Mike Paul put a positive spin on the indictment, noting that the former mayor was not charged with public corruption after a yearslong investigation at city hall that netted ex-councilwoman Monica Conyers and many others. - AP

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