DA Jason Williams Deserves to Walk In Federal Tax Fraud Case

Courtesy of Jason Williams Facebook

I spent several days last week as a juror in a complicated murder case at New Orleans’ Criminal District Court. The assistant district attorneys who were prosecuting the case believed with all their hearts that the defendant had committed murder. But the evidence presented by the defense clearly showed that the defendant’s hand was never on the trigger. As conscientious jurors, we had no choice but to reject the prosecutors’ main argument.

There is an interesting correlation between last week’s murder trial and the case against Jason Williams. Led by Kelly Uebinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney from the Western District of Louisiana, the prosecutors truly believe that Williams – through his former law partner Nicole Burdett – persuaded tax preparer Henry Timothy to file false returns which reduced his tax liability by several hundred thousand dollars. The prosecution team is also trying to persuade the jury that failing to properly report cash received from clients is an offense that deserves time behind bars.

Who among us wants to pay a penny more in taxes than we absolutely have to? Furthermore, considering that even the best and brightest tax accountants struggle with interpretations of our country’s convoluted and constantly evolving tax laws, proving that the defendant’s intent was to defraud the government is and should be a high standard. Simply put, the prosecution’s case was weak. There was no smoking gun. The defendant is presumed to be innocent, and the prosecution has failed in their efforts to prove that Williams is guilty of tax fraud beyond a reasonable doubt. There is simply not enough clear evidence that demonstrates Williams’ intent was to defraud the government.

Timothy was not a commanding witness and could not directly link Williams to the unreported tax filings. Williams turned down prosecutor’s plea bargain because he thought that prosecutors would not be able to prove that he intentionally committed fraud.

Bringing in a heavyweight nationally respected defense attorney like Lisa Wayne was the icing on the cake. Women and people of color on the jury could relate to her and her message that Williams was being unduly prosecuted. Some people say that Black elected officials have traditionally gotten a raw deal in federal court for offenses that white elected officials often get dismissed. Williams’ jury is diverse enough that they should be able to see through the smoke screen to the truth, just like the jury I sat on last week.

New Orleans needs her DA back at the office doing the job for which he was elected. Let’s free Jason Williams now.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *