Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick may be out of federal prison, but that doesn't mean his dealings with the federal government have come to an end. A federal judge has just ordered authorities to seize the money Kilpatrick and his new wife have amassed on a crowdfunding account that they recently created.
According to Fox 2, Kilpatrick's new wife, Leticia, opened an account at crowdsourcing site Plumfund.com to help them raise funds for their new son, Kyng. The page also supposedly listed a second line of funding intended to go toward a luxury condo in Orlando, Florida. Though the account is no longer accessible, as of late last month, the account was active and open to the public and had garnered $1,670 of its $800,000 goal. The account page allegedly requested prospective donors to consider making a contribution of $8,000.
Once reports of the account became public, federal investigators began looking into the fund since Kilpatrick still owes over $1.5 million in restitution to the city of Detroit and the IRS. On Tuesday afternoon, WDIV confirmed that a federal judge had demanded that all funds from the account be seized.
In a recent radio interview with Lloyd Jackson on 760 WJR-AM, Kilpatrick vehemently denied any wrongdoing with the Plumfund account.
"We’re not buying a house, we’re not trying to raise $800,000, we don't want anybody to give $8,000," Kilpatrick told Jackson on air.
"That was a fund that was set up strictly for baby shower gifts. That's all it was," he said. "And there is no site, there is no effort, there's no movement, there's no campaign to raise money for a house."
Whatever the motivation for the account, criminal defense attorney and federal prosecutor Anjali Prashad told Fox 2 that any funds that the Kilpatricks raise would be considered a "substantial resource" that the federal government could then seize to address his government debts.
"The federal government will treat this as something known as substantial resources," she said. "A substantial resource is basically, you win the lotto, you get an inheritance, you get an $800,000 donation, for whatever reason. This is a substantial resource, which the United States of America can then lay claim to."
"There is not a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Michigan and possibly in the United States of America, who doesn't believe that the good city of Detroit is owed restitution by Mr. Kwame Kilpatrick," she added.
"I think it's great. I think it's great he solicits the donations because then, maybe finally the good people of Detroit can get the restitution that has been ordered."
Shortly before he left office, former President Donald Trump granted Kilpatrick clemency for his federal crimes. However, clemency merely adjusted Kilpatrick's prison sentence to time served. It did not remove his local or federal debt obligations.