Prosecutors say there’s a good reason why 13 individuals and businesses linked to kickbacks and illegal payments in the scandal surrounding imprisoned ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick aren’t being charged — they could be victims as much as co-conspirators.

Kilpatrick, father Bernard Kilpatrick and three others were indicted Wednesday on federal corruption charges.  Kilpatrick is serving time on state charges while awaiting trial for an earlier federal indictment.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade tells the Detroit Free Press it’s sometimes hard to tell how much someone involved in bribes and extortions is a victim and how much a co-conspirator.

City Councilman Kwame Kenyatta says some people are “getting off light” and “should go to jail.”

Among those not charged is Houston-based Synagro Technologies, which says it’s cooperated with investigators from the start.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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