Top New Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams was facing 10 federal charges for $200,000 in tax fraud. The top prosecutor's trial officially began with jury selection on Monday, July 18.
Now, that jury has stunned trial watchers with a not guilty verdict. Local news station WDSU 6 reported:
Williams and Nicole Burdett, his former law partner, were both found not guilty on all ten counts they faced for tax fraud.
Burdett was found guilty on four counts of filing false tax returns.
The fact that the duo was found not guilty of tax fraud is intriguing given that their tax preparer, Henry Timothy, delivered bombshell testimony in which he admitted that he falsified the lawyers' tax returns and the returns of many other clients.
Nola.com noted, however, that:
...whether he did so at the behest of Williams and law associate Nicole Burdett remained murky, even after hours of testimony on the third day of the district attorney's tax fraud trial in U.S. District Court.
Overall, Williams and Burdett's federal trial was described as a "raucous, disjointed" affair. One day, the prosecution focused heavily on Williams's education calling Tulane University's registrar, Colette Raphel, to the stand.
After reviewing Williams’s law school transcripts, Raphel testified that the defendant had taken only one four credit-hour tax course in 1996. Although Judge Africk initially ruled that Raphel could only indicate whether Williams had passed or failed the course, he eventually relented and allowed her to share his grade -- he got a "C."
Now that he has been acquitted of tax fraud, a separate WDSU 6 article confirms that the New Orleans Parish District Attorney is expected to return to work.
Have you been following the Jason Williams trial in Louisiana?
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