We’re not going to make too much of this. Jason Williams’ taxes are his business, and maybe there’s something the defense can offer to show there’s a legitimate dispute here as to whether he owes anything. After all, Williams and his co-defendant were offered plea deals and turned them down.
Or maybe there isn’t much of a defense case in the tax fraud trial that starts today, because it does look like the prosecution has a whole lot on him. It seems like this is a pretty clear case.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams heads to federal court Monday (July 18) morning to face multiple felony tax charges. Federal prosecutors want to prove Williams and his former law partner and co-defendant– Nicole Burdett– defrauded the U.S. Treasury of more than $200,000 in owed taxes.
Before jury selection, Williams and co-defendant Nicole Burdette were offered plea deals and both refused.
The trial is expected to last a couple of weeks with several key government witnesses taking the stand.
For cases like this, legal analysts say they’re pretty clear-cut.
“Tax cases are usually pretty dry because they’re basically a paper case. But every case, every trial, has some ups and downs you don’t expect,” said Joe Raspanti, Fox 8 legal analyst.
I don’t like to predict defenses,” said Raspanti. “[But] They may say that we didn’t intend for it to be a crime. We weren’t trying to defraud the government, et cetera. It’s harder to do when you’re a lawyer rather than when you’re somebody who’s a lay person..”
Raspanti said the three government witnesses could make a defense harder for Williams and Burdett.
“They’re going to be like all prosecution witnesses. They’re going to help prove the elements of the crime beyond the reasonable doubt and they’re going to have to prove that the defendants knew what they were and that they did it anyway.”
Those witnesses expected to testify include:
- Westwego tax preparer Henry Timothy who Williams and Burdett are accused of allegedly conspiring within a scheme to inflate tax write-offs for Williams’ law firm over the course of a five-year period. Timothy already pleaded guilty to the tax fraud charge.
- Williams’ former law partner Robert “Bobby” Hjortsberg who pleaded guilty to his own misdemeanor tax charge.
- Williams’ ex-wife Bridget Barthelemy who was recently charged with her own tax offense unrelated to Williams’ indictment.
“In the state of Louisiana, attorneys convicted of felonies are going to lose their license within 14 days of the verdict. That’s not at the end of appeals. That’s when the jury says guilty,” said Raspanti. “And it is my understanding that he would have to step down certainly within 14 days.”
Of course, convicting anybody of a crime in New Orleans is hard as hell. Who knows what hidden gems for Williams lay in that jury?
Williams had this legal problem long before he ran for his current job, and the George Soros criminal advocacy cabal nevertheless funded him to the gills in the district attorney race. The true indictment here isn’t against Williams for his tax problems, it’s with the Hard Left that the Soros mob controls with their money and with the people of New Orleans who care so little that they’d elect a crook and a tax cheat as the city’s chief prosecutor.
We’d call it an embarrassment, but that word stopped applying to New Orleans years ago. So did others like disgrace, disaster and hellhole. New Orleans has embarked on a new journey beyond what those words could describe.
So we’ll see what happens to Jason Williams. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him walk, no matter how good the feds’ case against him is.