DETROIT (WWJ) – Two people have plead guilty in connection with city corruption, and with former city contractor and friend of Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson.
The U.S. attorney’s office charges that 42-year-old Shakib Deria of helped Ferguson obtain $171,000 in cash through 18 separate withdrawals. Prosecutors say the two structured the withdrawals into amounts all under $10,000, to evade scrutiny from tax officials.
Harper Woods resident Tabitha Goodner, 43, plead guilty that she helped Ferguson’s company file phony documents with the Michigan State Transportation Commission.
“This guilty plea is the latest development in the ongoing prosecution of fraud and related crimes involving public contracts in Detroit. We will keep marching forward until all who cheat our citizens are brought to justice,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.
Both guilty pleas were entered in U.S. District Court in Detroit.
Along with ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick and others, Ferguson, who owns a demolition company, is accused in an indictment filed in December alleging extortion, bribery and fraud during the former mayor’s years at City Hall. It describes a brazen pattern of corruption in which contractors paid kickbacks or hired a Kilpatrick pal to keep business.
Ferguson himself has plead not guilty to charges that he obtained millions of dollars in public works contracts through fraud, false statements and bid collusion.