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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kerik Deploys Geithner-Martin Defense to Tax Evasion Charges

Yesterday's Senate approval of Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury by a 60-34 vote brought to mind this Steve Martin bit:

"You can be a millionaire and never pay taxes. You say, ‘Steve, how can I be a millionaire and never pay taxes?’ Two simple words. ‘I forgot.’ How many times do we let ourselves get into terrible situations because we don’t say, ‘I forgot’? Let’s say you’re on trial for armed robbery. You say to the judge, ‘I forgot armed robbery was illegal.’”

As John Phllips notes, "[I]f you get hauled before Treasury for not paying taxes, just say 'I forgot.' And if they give you any trouble, use another Steve Martin line, 'Well, excuuuuuuuuuse me!'

Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner who was President Bush’s choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, has raised the Geithner-Martin defense in his tax fraud case in which he is charged with failing to report over $500,000 of income:

Disgraced ex-top cop Bernard Kerik wants to be treated more like Timothy Geithner.

In new court papers, the former police commissioner complains that the feds want to send him to prison for the same sort of problems that officials overlooked in Geithner, whom the Senate confirmed yesterday as treasury secretary.

In an obvious reference to Geithner's tax troubles, Kerik's lawyers in White Plains federal court cited "recent events" showing that the vetting process for presidential appointees is "an imperfect one, during which mistakes and omissions occur."

While Geithner was allowed to pay his back taxes, Kerik was "treated differently" in his tax-fraud indictment, his lawyers charged.

New York Post via JammieWearingFool and InstaPundit.  See also the Washington Times.

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2009/01/kerik-deploys.html

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Comments

Paul,

Thanks very much for the link.

John Phillips

Posted by: John Phillips | Jan 27, 2009 1:44:12 PM

Of course Geithner got away with it - what would the private banking cartel do without their star player?

Posted by: Adrienne | Jan 27, 2009 5:43:06 PM