Bernie Kerik Pleads Guilty to Lying To Government and Tax Evasion
Jailed former NY Police Commmissioner Bernie Kerik pleaded guilty today to charges he lied to the White House on his application to become Homeland Security chief in 2004, after being nominated for the position by President George W. Bush.
Kerik will also admit to tax evasion. The tax counts were set for trial separately. In all, he will plead to eight charges.
Mr Kerik made the first of eight expected pleas at a court in White Plains, New York state, on Thursday. The admissions are part of a plea bargain designed to head off three pending trials on 15 federal counts. Mr Kerik had previously denied all charges.
The prosecution is recommending a sentence of 27 to 33 months in prison . The plea documents are not yet on the court's website. [More...]
Giuliani, a Republican, had named Kerik police commissioner, had gone into private business with him and had pushed President George W. Bush to nominate him to run the Department of Homeland Security.Update: The New York Daily News reports he's also pleading guilty to theft of honest services, but the Government is dismissing the most serious charges, mail and wire fraud. However, this report says the theft of honest services count was not addressed in court.
Mr. Kerik, 54, pleaded guilty to two counts of tax fraud, one count of making a false statement on a loan application — the most serious — and five separate counts of making false statements to the federal government....One charge that had been expected, depriving the public of his honest services as a government official, was not addressed.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 18. The Judge said to Bernie:
“I think you had a very full life,” Judge Robinson told Mr. Kerik, saying he would take the good with the bad as he mulled sentencing. “There is much good in that full life, I believe.”
Update: The U.S. Attorney has issued a press release (pdf):
KERIK pleaded guilty before United States District Judge STEPHEN C. ROBINSON to: one count of obstructing and impeding the due administration of the internal revenue laws from 1999 to 2007, one count of aiding in the preparation of a false tax return (for the 2000 tax year), one count of making a false statement on a loan application, and five counts of making false statements to the federal government. Two of the false statement counts – the two counts that KERIK also agreed to transfer to White Plains from Washington, D.C. – relate to materially false statements that KERIK made to White House officials vetting him for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
...At today’s plea hearing, KERIK admitted, among other things, that in 1999 and 2000 he received substantial renovations to his Riverdale apartment through Interstate (a metropolitan area-contractor) and conceded that Interstate paid approximately $255,000 for the renovations. KERIK also admitted that around the same time, he contacted New York City regulators concerning Interstate. KERIK further admitted that he failed to report the value of the renovations he received through Interstate on his federal tax returns. And KERIK admitted that he made false statements to the White House concerning the renovations he received on his Riverdale apartment and his relationship with Interstate when he was being vetted for the position of Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Page 2 of the press release is a chart of the counts to which Kerik pleaded and the possible sentences. The tax counts carry a maximum of three years each, the false statements to the government carry five years each, and the false statement on the loan application carries a maximum penalty of 30 years.
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