Sunday, September 30, 2007

To former mayor's brother: Pay your taxes!


Brother of former New Orleans mayor Morial gets plea deal on tax charges

By Janet McConnaughey for AP, via SignOn San Diego:

The brother of a former New Orleans mayor has reached a plea deal on tax charges, more than three years after federal agents stormed his French Quarter home, his attorney and a prosecutor said Friday.

Jacques Morial, 46, was charged with failing to file income tax returns in 2000, 2001 and 2002, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said in a news release. The charges carry up to a year in prison, plus fines.

Morial, the brother of former Mayor Marc Morial, made a plea agreement with federal prosecutors and paid the taxes – about $26,000 for the three years, his attorney said.

“Mr. Morial intends to come in and acknowledge his responsibility for failing to file his tax returns in a timely fashion,” attorney Pat Fanning said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jan Mann later confirmed that a plea agreement had been reached but would not discuss details.

The Morial family blasted the federal government in 2004 for ramming open the door in a style of raid more often associated with a drug bust. A battering ram visibly damaged the historic home's door, leaving wood splinters on the sidewalk. Agents carried out boxes of documents.

Jacques Morial sued the FBI and IRS agents in February 2005, claiming the search was illegal. His lawsuit was dismissed in April 2006 because Morial, who was representing himself, failed to show up in court.

The charges against Jacques Morial come amid a long-standing federal investigation of the public school system and the City Hall administrations of former Mayor Marc Morial, who served two four-year terms ending in 2002.

A call to a number for Morial listed in court documents reached a recording saying it had been temporarily disconnected. He does not have another listed number.
Now head of the National Urban League, Marc Morial has not been accused of wrongdoing.

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