The government's battle with Kwame Kilpatrick surfaced publicly again on Tuesday when the Detroit News reported that the federal court has ordered the seizure of money from crowdfunding accounts belonging to the former mayor and his wife.
The U.S. Attorney's Office filed garnishment notices earlier this month against Kilpatrick and his wife LaTicia for their PayPal and Plumfund accounts to cover $193,303.61 owed to the government from his criminal trial. The media reported that the fundraising platforms were for the couple's new baby boy and an $800,000 gated-community home in Orlando, Fla., that they hoped to live in.
In response, Kilpatrick on Tuesday broke his silence on the matter, telling Deadline Detroit that he and his wife raised about $1,600 for a baby shower, and "not a penny" for the Florida home people have been talking about.
"This was in the ordinary course of having a baby shower," Kilpatrick said. "We couldn't do it in person because the baby came early, so we had the shower online. If the court wants to take money from our child from a baby shower; I don't know how you respond to something like that."
"It all comes down to $1,600 for baby shower gifts."
As for the home, he said there was never any intention of raising funds to buy it.
He said a team of woman who cared about him and LaTicia added to the Plumfund account what he described as a wishlist or vision board that included the Orlando home.
He said people were donating for the baby shower for a baby carriage, diapers and wipes and strollers.
"That's what people were donating to. The house was on a vision board. We were actually in Orlando, saw this fabulous house. My wife and I said, 'one day we're going to have a home like that.' Not a single penny was raised for it. There was no intention to raise money. No one who ever visited the site thought they were raising money for a home."
The News reports that notices of garnishment were sent earlier this month from U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds to the Kilpatricks' home in Georgia. They were requred to answer to the court in writing within 10 days. As of Tuesday, there was nothing filed on their behalf.
"You have a right to ask the court to return your property to you if you think you do not owe the money to the Government that it claims you do, or if you think the property the Government is taking qualifies under an exemption," the order states, adding that he has 20 days after receiving the notice to request a hearing in writing, the News reports.
Kilpatrick says he got a certified notice on Friday and has every intention of responding on time.
In 2013, Kilpatrick was sentenced by Judge Edmunds to 28 years in prison after being convicted on multiple public corruption and tax charges. In January 2021, President Trump commuted his sentence to time serve and he went free.
He and his wife live in Georgia and run an online ministry, Movemental Ministries.
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