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From Detroit Free Press

In their investigation of Kwame Kilpatrick, FBI agents are trying to prove that the ex-Detroit mayor and his associates used his elected office as a criminal enterprise to enrich themselves, according to sworn documents reviewed by the Free Press and interviews with people familiar with the probe.

It’s not clear whether the federal government will ever bring charges against Kilpatrick.

But in trying to build a case of criminal conspiracy, federal authorities have scrutinized a variety of evidence they say they have gathered against Kilpatrick, his father and close associates of the former mayor, according to records and people familiar with the probe.

Authorities describe a variety of alleged bribes and extortion demands during Kilpatrick’s years in office that, when taken together, could amount to racketeering violations under federal law. Allegations cited in government documents and culled from interviews include:

• That Kwame Kilpatrick accepted bribes of up to $100,000 from Kado, a businessman who had exclusive, no-bid janitorial and electrical-services contracts at Cobo Center and a sundry shop at the convention hall.

• That Kilpatrick deposited unspecified sums of cash into bank accounts without declaring the funds as income.

• That Bernard Kilpatrick received large amounts of money from contractors and business owners in return for official acts by the mayor; and that he pressured others to donate to his son’s political or civic fund.

• That Kado paid at least $30,000 in bribes to mayoral aide Derrick Miller, including $10,000 for a trip to Europe.

• That Miller told a local businessman he would be punished for backing a political opponent when Kilpatrick sought re-election. Shortly afterward, the businessman’s commercial vehicles started getting ticketed in Detroit — with the directive to do so allegedly coming from the mayor’s office.

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