Bernie Kerik Makes Last Plea to Avoid Federal Indictment

The New York Daily News reports that Rudy Giuliani pal Bernie Kerik, already disgraced from his failed nomination for Homeland Security Secretary and guilty pleas for state tax violations, is sending his lawyers to Washington for a last-chance meeting with the Justice Department to avoid indictment on federal tax charges:

Kerik's lawyers recently agreed to waive the statute of limitations on the tax charges until Nov. 17, which will allow them to make one last plea to try to ease the pain.

Kerik will go to the Justice Department in Washington in the coming weeks to try to get expected criminal tax charges reduced to civil fines.

Kerik still faces probable charges of bribery and obstruction of justice over a secret meeting with former Giuliani officials in Tribeca in 1999.


The Giuliani officials are Raymond Casey, former head of the Trade Waste Commission, a city agency set up to keep the mob out of the carting industry, and Michael Caruso, former inspector general with the city Department of Investigation.

In July 1999, Casey and Caruso met with Kerik, then the city Correction Department commissioner, at Walker's bar on North Moore St., court papers reveal.

At the time, Casey was investigating Interstate Industrial Corp., a company that employed Kerik's brother Donald and the best man at Kerik's wedding, Larry Ray.

Interstate is the company that renovated Kerik's apartment. He failed to pay taxes on $165,000., the amount of renovations, which formed the basis for his misdemeanor state tax charge.

In return for the renovations, the feds will allege, Kerik used his city position to try to influence the city's probe of Interstate, the sources said.

....The expected obstruction of justice charges from the feds are related to Kerik's statements to Bronx prosecutors, the sources said. The expected federal tax fraud charges are linked to Kerik's failure to pay taxes on the income he received from Interstate, the sources added.

The big question is how this will affect Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid. Will it be old news Rudy can brush off with "I made a mistake" or will it tarnish his reputation as a leader who uses bad judgment?

< Al Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize | DOJ Hasn't Used Money Allotted to Test DNA Innocence Claims >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I think it came out today so as to get swamped (none / 0) (#1)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 10:50:35 AM EST
    by the "Al Gore Wins Nobel" news.

    The Giuliani campaign and the DoJ - soon to be headed by a lawyer with intimate ties to the Giuliani campaign (assuming the coming Democratic cave takes places according to schedule next week) - would seem to be desperate to (a) shut Kerik up and (b) get the story of his corruption buried early.

    Remember, Kerik started his meteoric rise as Giuliani's driver and bodyguard (and went so far as to be his partner).  Who would know better all the dirt on Rudy Cue Ball, than his driver/bodyguard?  Putting him in prison for (or having him plead to) crimes of dishonesty might tend to make whatever he says less believable than it might have been.  Lawyers always love cross-examining a witness with a history of dishonesty or moral turpitude - it's an easy argument that they're not believable....

    And, the allegations around Kerik deal with one of Rudy's signature non-9/11-related "achievements" - supposedly cleaning up the mob control of various sectors of the NYC economy.  In this case, it's their stranglehold on garbage and solid waste - which was attacked through the Trade Waste Commission. Whose investigation of Interstate (the contractors) for being mobbed-up, Kerik was apparently trying to thwart (and protect himself from being found in their pocket).  Once Rudy's invocation of 9/11 turns it into a meaningless mantra, he's going to have to point to something else - cleaning up in NYC is as good as anything else.  Kerik's in the way of that.

    unless (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 03:53:47 PM EST
    the tax section of DOJ has been as corrupted as the rest of it, under the current administration, mr. kerik's pleas will be in vain. this assumes that the past is prelude to the future.

    his additional liability, due to fraud, more than meets the DOJ minimum ($10,000), for the years under examination. he's a public figure, so his indictment is going to get lots of airplay. that's really the whole point of indicting him in the first place, the money isn't.

    the only way he gets out of this, is to convince DOJ that he's such a complete moron, he had absolutely no clue that the value of the renovations, performed for his personal services rendered (they needn't be legal, to be taxable), wasn't considered income. he'll have to convince them he really, truly, honestly thought it was a gift, exempt from tax, because they, well, you know, just really liked him.

    fat f*ing chance.

    Well, he isn't the brightest bulb on the tree (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 04:22:17 PM EST
    one doesn't have to be, to be a jail guard.

    And, no, being cunning doesn't count as "smart".

    IRS usually cares more about the money than the time - but in this guy's case, they might want the time, if only to shut him up during the campaign.

    Here's what Rudy Cue Ball had to say about all this, today (from The Atlantic):

    Without commenting on that case, I've already said I should have checked his background more carefully. I didn't. I've learned a lesson from it. I'm going to check more carefully in the future.
    "But I think you have to look at the thousands of choices I've made of people, and you have to look at the results that I got. I must have been making the decisions about people mostly correctly, because I was able to reduce crime by 66 percent.

    I am convinced Rudy CB just picks numbers for his claimed achievements - like a 66 percent crime reduction, today - in the same manner as Senator Iselin did in the original Manchurian Candidate:  he sees "57" on the bottle of ketchup at breakfast and, later that day, he's making a speech claiming he has a list of 57 communists in whatever department of the United States' government....


    scribe, (none / 0) (#4)
    by cpinva on Fri Oct 12, 2007 at 10:03:10 PM EST
    in situations such as this, with a fairly well known person, the IRS cares more about the publicity generated, then it does about the money. if it were only the money, they'd have already gotten that. they didn't need a fraud referal to get it, his prior convictions gave it to them on a silver platter.

    no my friend, this is all about publicity. trust me on this.


    Fortunately (none / 0) (#5)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Oct 13, 2007 at 10:19:03 AM EST
    It's not a crime to screw your girlfriend in a residence used to rest WTC recovery workers.