Orleans DA Jason Williams’ federal tax fraud trial opens second week with IRS agents’ testimony
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Jurors in the federal tax fraud trial of Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams heard more testimony from Internal Revenue Service agents, as the second week of the trial kicked off Monday (July 25).
It was expected to be a case heavy on IRS testimony and documents, and so far it has been.
Williams and his law partner Nicole Burdett are accused of bloating Williams’ law firm expenses by more than $700,000 to allegedly cheat the federal government out of more than $200,000 in owed taxes.
The jury heard Monday from a U.S. Treasury Department official, who testified about the law requiring businesses such as the Jason Rogers Williams and Associates law firm to report cash payments of more than $10,000. Of the 10 felony counts Williams and Burdett face, four center on cash payments exceeding that threshold that federal prosecutors allege were never reported.
Williams’ ex-wife Bridget Barthelemy testified Friday that Williams and Burdett kept cash in a safe at his St. Charles Avenue law office.
Burdett’s defense attorney Mike Magner, himself a former federal prosecutor, peppered IRS agent and investigator Tim Moore on Monday about the government’s star witness, tax preparer Henry Timothy. Magner chided Moore for not searching Timothy’s computer and reminded the jury that Timothy admitted last week he was not a certified public accountant.
Magner asked Moore, “We can agree that Mr. Timothy has been untruthful, correct?”
Moore replied, “Yes, he has been untruthful, correct.”
Magner asked Moore, “You did not search Mr. Timothy’s computer?”
Moore replied, ”I did not search Mr. Timothy’s computer.”
Timothy has pleaded guilty to falsifying his own tax returns.
Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says the defense can be expected to keep bringing up the veracity of the government’s key witness.
“The defense is going to beat the jury over the head with the fact that Mr. Timothy is an admitted liar,” Raspanti said. “Because they know that the government has to rely on some of the things he said, otherwise they wouldn’t put him on. So they’re going to have to keep driving that home and they’ve done it all through this trial.”
Prosecutors also called to the stand Tulane University’s registrar, who testified that college records showed Williams took an income tax class while in law school in the 1990s.
Judge Lance Africk said the prosecution might finish presenting its case as early as Tuesday.
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