Orleans DA Jason Williams federal tax evasion trial opens week two with testimony from IRS agents

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Jurors in the federal tax evasion trial of Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams heard further testimony from Internal Revenue Service agents, as the second week of the trial began on Monday 25 July.

It was expected to be a heavy affair of testimony and IRS documents, and so far it has been.

Williams and his legal partner Nicole Burdett are accused of inflating Williams’ law firm expenses by more than $700,000 to allegedly deceive the federal government out of more than $200,000 in taxes owed.

The jury heard Monday from a US Treasury Department official, who testified about the law requiring companies such as law firm Jason Rogers Williams and Associates to report cash payments over $10,000. Of the 10 counts Williams and Burdett face, four relate to cash payments above that threshold that federal prosecutors say were never reported.

Williams’ ex-wife, Bridget Barthelemy, testified Friday that Williams and Burdett kept cash in a safe at her St. Charles Avenue law office.

Burdett’s defense attorney Mike Magner, himself a former federal prosecutor, peppered tax agent and investigator Tim Moore on Monday about the government’s star witness, tax preparer Henry Timothy. Magner faulted Moore for not searching Timothy’s computer and reminded the jury that Timothy had admitted last week that he was not a certified public accountant.

Magner asked Moore, “We can agree that Mr. Timothy lied, can’t we?”

Moore replied, “Yeah, he lied, that’s okay.”

Magner asked Moore, “You didn’t search Mr. Timothy’s computer?”

Moore replied, “I did not search Mr. Timothy’s computer.”

Timothy pleaded guilty to falsifying his own tax returns.

Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says the defense can be expected to continue to argue the veracity of the key government witness.

“The defense is going to knock the jury over the head with the fact that Mr. Timothy is an admitted liar,” Raspanti said. “Because they know the government has to trust some of the things he said or they wouldn’t question him. So they’re going to have to keep driving home and they’ve been doing that throughout this trial.

Prosecutors also called the registrar of Tulane University to the stand, who testified that college records show Williams took an income tax course while attending law school in the 1990s.

Judge Lance Africk said the prosecution could finish presenting its case as early as Tuesday.

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