Kilpatrick on Trial: Will former fundraiser who pleaded guilty to tax evasion testify

Kilpatrick, 3 others on trial for corruption charges

DETROIT - 8:36AM Video screen just turns on. Bobby Ferguson defense lawyer Susan Van Dusen sits alone at the defendants table. Next in is Bernard Kilpatrick, in a light beige suit, who greets Van Dusen as he takes his seat at the table.

Emma Bell, former fundraiser for Kwame Kilpatrick, may be testifying at the end of the day. Bell plead guilty to tax evasion last year- she admitted that she had received more than $500,000 from many Kilpatrick fund-raisers but never paid any taxes on the amount. She was sentenced to 18 months in jail but may see that amount reduced after her testimony. The defense has already labeled Bell a greedy gambler.

8:45AM Kwame Kilpatrick in a brown suit and pink tie enters the courtroom with lawyer Michael Naughton. Goes straight to his father and they grasp hands.

Courtroom slowly but surely filling up. Mike Rataj, lawyer for Bobby Ferguson, takes his seat next to Van Dusen.

8:55AM Pretty much everyone is in the courtroom except the judge. Victor Mercado snuck into his corner when I wasn't looking and Bobby Ferguson is powwowing closely with Kwame. Lots of emphatic gestures.

Wasn't here yesterday so was interested to hear they let the sleeping juror go. Guess narcolepsy and jury duty are sort of incompatible.

9:04AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom.

Jurors told judge that they would like exhibit numbers better organized so they can follow along better.

9:05AM Judge will tell jurors that letters at beginning of numbers stand for different chapters.

9:06AM Kelly Bartlett retakes the stand to continue testimony.

He was cut off yesterday to bring in Oshinski.

Judge tells jurors she passed along their concerns and explains the designations. For example, SG stands for State Grant.

9:08AM Van Dusen questions Bartlett.

Reminds him about interview with FBI. He did due diligence in reviewing grant applications.

He reviewed paperwork to enable state recommendation.

Van Dusen asks about due diligence to history of charitable involvement. No he says due to time constraints.

He reviewed specifically the applications.

SG 11-2 on the overhead.  Government counsel already took him through the paragraph. Application consists of 2 pages. Actually three he says.

SG 11-3, the next page, is on overhead.

This particular item requests target clientele identification or special project benefits to the community.  Boxes checked children, school groups, economic development and senior citizens. This application by 3D they represent economic development as special project says Van Dusen. Yes says Bartlett.

Van Dusen says you consider entire application. Yes says Bartlett.

So economic development part of the project. Yes he says.


9:14AM Eric Doeh redirects for government.

What is economic development says Doeh. In several cases of grants, economic development would be, like for a tourism grant, more tourists will come and community will benefit. In other cases, harder to discern. In 3D, it might be more closely tied to community development.

Doeh asks if remodeling of office economic development.

Van Dusen objects. Overruled.

It would be dubious of a representation that there would be benefit to community form that.

Jim Thomas asked you a question about email with Don Gilmore.

Bartlett reads email. "Talked this morning with Donna Williams to resubmit grant without using U.N.I.T.E.:" Told her I was concerned about renovation costs.

Bartlett pointed out close to last sentence in email. They had had numerous issues with paperwork.

They were concerned about renovation costs. After discussion, would not object to them as reimbursable costs.

This was in regards to Vanguard renovation not # D. Witness can't recall.

Doeh asks if he knows who Donna Williams is. Witness doesn't recall her or who she is associated with.

Often in the office, referred to the grants interchangeably.

Bartlett did not authorize any grants at all. Understanding is that Detroit 3D got no further payments.

9:20AM Jim Thomas redirects.

Email from Don Gilmore dated December 4th 2001. Bartlett was CCed on the email.

Thomas says talking about Donna Williams and services rendered. Thomas asks remember there was a problem with Vanguard renovation costs. not only renovation costs but purchase of a property says witness.

As relates to Vanguard says Thomas, renovation costs were allowed with proper documentation. Yes says Bartlett. Sentiment in Budget Office was that we had a surprise with the grant.

Thomas says head of grant will allow it to go ahead with new proper documentation.

Thomas asks about send half being granted to Vanguard. Bartlett vaguely recalls that happened.

Doeh objects. Sustained.

Thomas shows previous exhibits D SG 12 to witness and asks if it looks like Treasurer's Warrant to Vanguard for $150,000. Yes it does says witness. He wasn't involved in issuance of checks.

Previously shown Gilmore's email saying he wouldn't object to reimbursable costs with proper documentation.

Thomas shows D SG 13. Second check for $150,000 to Vanguard. Dated January 3rd 2002.

Thomas says 30 days later check goes to Vanguard.

9:27AM Van Dusen redirects.

Would you consider as economic development the establishment of training area. Could be, sure says witness.

Purchase of materials, training people in estimating jobs for construction sites? Yes says witness.

All to provide skills for the community, demolition, economic development? Yes says witness though hard to think of demolition as development.

So the establishment of training area would be economic development. It would be in this instance. Don't remember any discussion about facilities. Remember problems with paper work.

Van Dusen says aware of letter sent by Detroit 3D that sum of money had been sent to establish training area. Witness doesn't recall how colleagues came to knowledge that property was purchase.

Sir did I says anything about a facility being purchased. Witness says you spoke of training facility.

Van Dusen says you weren't even involved in that part. Yes says witness.

Ends. Bartlett excused.

9:32AM Government calls IRS agent Ron Sauer. AGAIN.

Micheal Bullotta for government asks if Sauer received certified records for Secretary of State office. Yes says Sauer.

SG 8A submitted. Put it on the overhead.

The documents is file endorsement. Going to transact business as U.N.I.T.E. It's the incorporation document.

The company that filed the company in Detroit, EVO Accounting. Sauer says also used by Detroit 3D. Grant funds also used to pay for their services.

Document signed by Carlita Kilpatrick. A for profit corporation on July 26th, 2000 is incorporated.

Date of transfer of money from State of Michigan October 5th 2000. Less than 3 months after U.N.I.T.E is incorporated.

Date of December 15th 2000- $100,000 wire transferred to U.N.I.T.E account.

Bullotta wants to talk about Emma Bell. Sauer says she was primary fund-raiser for Kwame. Subpoenaed her accounts at First Independence Bank. Created a spreadsheet of payments from various fund-raiser entities.

Looking at summary of payments Emma Bell received and details of what happened with the transactions. Sauer trying to verify what happened with the checks.

EB 6 goes into evidence. Looking at first page.

Date check cleared on 1st column. August 6th 2003. Area in middle is entity paying Miss Bell. Next is dollar amount.

Sauer checked and saw what happened to checks after received. If cashier's checks purchased how much. Payments into her account.

Defense requested records. Got one showing payment on august 6th, 2003 to Miss Bell for $42,000.

another record from January 6th, 2006. 50K total. Emma Bell received $10,000 of that in cash and $40,000 in cashier's checks- 4 cashier's checks: 3 in 10k to Emma Bell and 1 for 10k to Angela Burris. Emma Bell came back and deposited 10k at First Independence Bank and took out $2,000 in cash.

EB 6A. Date that check cleared is January 17th, 2006. Check negotiated at First Independence Bank. On that same day, Emma Bella received 10,000 in cash and $40,000 in cashier's checks. On different dates, she took those cashier's checks and deposited them and received cash for $10,000.

Transaction on June 8th 2006. 85 K received for Kilpatrick for Mayor. Emma Bell received $9,747,47 in cash and the balance was $75,252.63 in cashier's checks. Cashier's checks taken back to First Independence Bank and cashed and Bell took various amounts in cash out.

EB 6A- detailed chart for money. May 4th, 2007" Kilpatrick for Mayor and Inaugural committee: check for $50,000. Bell got 10k in cash and $38,500 in cashier's checks to Lafayette Towers, Emma Bell, Angela Burress.

On May 8th 2007 she cashed 10k and got $9,500 in cash. She also deposited $500 into her account.

The time frame for checks was 2003 through 2008. The money was from Kilpatrick for Mayor, Next Vision Foundation, Kilpatrick Inaugural Committee and Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Total was $904,051.19.

9:54AM Thomas cross-examines.

Next Vision foundation not related to Kwame says Thomas. Yes it was, paid salary to Carlita Kilpatrick.

Included Next Vision foundation. Correct says Sauer.

Some money came from Civic Fund into the more than 900k. Correct says Sauer.

Thomas says do you understand that a person can draw a salary from a Civic Fund. Correct says Sauer.

Bell was indicating 10 to 15% of money taken from what she was raising. Correct says Sauer.

You understand that a part was her fee as fund-raiser. Correct says Sauer.

Between 2003 and 2008. Correct says Sauer.

She was drawing checks from funds says Thomas. Also reflects amount converted to cashier's checks. Correct says Sauer.

Investigation indicated an accountant, Mr. Terrell for Civic Fund, and William Phillips lawyer involved in civic Fund? Correct says Sauer.

Kwame Kilpatrick removed name from checks and was no longer a co-signer and Civic Fund and that was relegated to Christine Beatty. Well signing of checks was says witness.

Emma Bell had no authority for signing checks says Thomas. Correct says Sauer.

Bell had problems with IRS for 10 to 12years. Yes says Sauer.

Able to confirm it? Yes says Sauer

Bell kept balances low? Purpose was to avoid IRS levies says Sauer. Levy is a one-time thing says Sauer.

Thomas says there was a period where she had $100,00 over Christmas and then took it out after vacation. Don't know about that says Sauer.

The checks were written to Miss Bell's name personally. Entities giving that money to Bell says Sauer.

Sauer says generally Bell took cashier's checks back to First Independence Bank and cashed them there.

Any evidence she took those cashier's checks to casino asks Thomas. No evidence of that Sauer.

Sauer says Bell told them that tax problems went back possibly even before the 80s.

Thomas says she didn't file returns for at least 20 years. May have been says Sauer.

Thomas says cashier's checks may be a way of avoiding payment on money. Sure says Sauer. 

Thomas asks if it is harder to track money after awhile. No.

Thomas says are you aware we were able to get more detail than you did with subpoena? 

In reviewing records, found some dates says Thomas. January 17th 2006 from the Kilpatrick Inaugural Committee for 50k to Emma Bell. You indicated that 40k went to Emma Bell. It was not deposited says Sauer, went to Bell.

Is that unusual asks Thomas? It depends on bank and teller in how they choose to transact the money.

The money would not have shown up on her bank statement yes says Sauer.

Calculated attempt to cover the money? Yes says Sauer.

Angela Burris worked for Bell as driver and assistant in fund-raising.

Thomas says no knowledge of coming back to Kwame? No says Sauer.

Nothing nefarious about Burris payments? Correct says Sauer.

Looking at February 7th 2006.

Sauer had discussions with Bell about financial structuring if you keep money below 10k.

Thomas says she knew exact number? I don't recall says Sauer.

Thomas says isn't Lafayette Towers were she was living? Yes says Sauer.

More personal expenses- 5k payment to Gregory Terrell? Yes says Sauer.

Looking at May 4th 2007. Federal collateral payment for $500. Sauer doesn't recall, looks over more documents.

Wolverine Furs coat transaction for $3,500. Contributions to various philanthropic orgs like NAACP for $3,000,

D EB 1: series of documents. Admit into evidence.

The first part says Thomas is payments to Emma Bell by Kilpatrick related entities. This is old version prepared in 2007 says Sauer.

Sauer says just telling you this is not accurate spreadsheet. Incomplete at this time.

Thomas says on May 8th 2008 25k payment to Emma Bell from Kiplatrick for Mayor account. The idea to put this together was to assist Bell to remember payments/ No says Sauer.

Thomas says you met with her and reviewed in detail the dates and times. Sauer says these are reflective as payments to Miss Bell and not the cashier's checks.

Sauer says kind of uncomfortable with spreadsheet that is not accurate.

Talking to Emma Bell on March 18th 2010. Sauer says we were talking at that point. I'll take your word on memorandums says Sauer.

There was a memorandum for March 12th 2010, Also for March 18th 2010, 04/26/10, 05/12/10, 05/26/11, 06/28/11, 10/03/11, 8/10/12, 8/16/11.

Meeting about money funneled to Mr. Kilpatrick? That was one of the topics, yes says Sauer.

Thomas says document not accurate because it was evolving as time went on. Yes says Sauer.

On first meeting with Emma Bell on March 12th 2010 and she described what she did. Yes we met with Miss Bell.

Thomas says things are magically appearing as Naugton hands him documents.

Bullotta, Chutkow, Bob Beckman and Hunt were at the meeting says Sauer. It was a pretty long meeting.

Most meetings pretty long says Thomas? I don't remember says Sauer.

Suffice it to says she was there with lawyer as request to come in? I believe as request says Sauer. taxes and structuring transactions. Don't know if she was structuring says Sauer. Think we had that conversation at some point. 

How many meetings have you sat in with a Kastigar letter? Maybe 50 says Sauer.

Lying would put her in a position where she would lose benefit of letter. Yes says Sauer.

It was a long meeting and we reconvened says Sauer.

Thomas says what is also clear is that she told you of a scheme that she was paying a percentage to Kilpatrick. Yes a percentage of what she was receiving from Kilpatrick entities says Sauer.

Thomas says she didn't pay them on any amount less than 25k? Correct says Sauer.

And she lied says Thomas? She did says Sauer.

She lied about the amount of checks that she split? Yes says Sauer. She actually split amounts that were lower.

Sauer was very interested in Kilpatrick receiving cash kickbacks. Once Bell told us that after conferring with her attorney, I was very interested.

She changed to say that she gave 50% on anything over 5k to Kilpatrick? Yes says Sauer.

Thomas says she waited 6 days to change her story. Yes.

Sauer says her explanation for not telling the truth was that she didn't want Kwame to look "petty" for taking kickbacks.

That would indicate she was having more meeting with Kilpatrick to give home money? Yes says Sauer.

You realize that in giving him more money lessened her exposure in any way? I don't think so.

You are aware that she was able to plead to reduced charges. What reduced charges says Sauer? I know she plead guilty to tax evasion.

10:51AM On 20 minute break. Just an FYI on the whole "Kastigar" letter issue. Apparently, Bell signed a Kastigar document with the government- it's a kind of document that is used to grant info that is valuable to the government without any risk of self-incrimination. Thomas is obviously insinuating that it behooves Bell to provide the government with information on Kwame Kilpatrick in order to get a better deal. Looking unlikely that Bell will testify today. If she does, she will be the first "co-operating" witness to take the stand. The judge has already instructed jurors to take co-operating witness testimony with a grain of salt.

11:00AM Judge enters courtroom. Bobby has switched seats at the defendants' table and is now sitting next to Kwame. Lawyer Gerald Evelyn comes and sits between them.

Courtroom is packed.

Thomas gets up to the stand to continue his cross-examination? Sauer says can't remember which meeting it was discussed.

Asks Sauer about issue of Emma Bell knowing how a certain amount would trigger a transaction report. Was it first meeting.

Sauer says it looks like March 18th 2010 from looking at document was when it was mentioned.

Looks like she had a conversation with a bank official who offered her info on the amounts that would trigger. that individual got fired as a result. Don't know says Sauer.

Looking at EB 6. Thomas says you've found even more info since- more that defense provided you? Yes says Sauer a 42K check on August 6th 2003 for Emma Bell.

Looking at chart on amount of 25k paid to Emma Bell.

Bell took check and got $3,216 in cash, then got $18,484 in cashier's checks and $3,000 posted to her account.

On that chart, indicates she paid Kwame on that date between 10 and 15 thousand dollars.

Thomas says did you subpoena records at Greek town casinos? Yes says Sauer I believe in 2010.

Thomas says you were looking for correlation to Kilpatrick using money for credit card bills. Sauer says there was a correlation.

Sauer says going off memory, there was some correlation on dates.

Thomas says going back to records, refer to D EB 1, and I'll show you the document.

Investigation of account says she kept numbers low asks Thomas? Would you agree that the $3,000 wouldn't be there very long. Would have to check my records says Sauer.

Sauer says cashier's checks would be paid to other entities so she wouldn't have that total 18k.

On that day, series of transactions that occurred. Looking at bank statements reflecting cashier's checks. Out of the $18,424 she made cashier's checks- amongst them to Lafayette Towers and University Physician Group.

Looking at document may seem that Bell would be behind on rent. Could be yes says Sauer.

Of the 18k, a total of $12,046 was made out to Emma Bell.

Thomas asks about Greek Town gambling records for Bell. I have not says Sauer.

Bell could have had previous cashier's checks made out to her says Sauer.

Thomas asks if Sauer sees any gambling activity in the documents. Thomas says that reflects gambling at Greek town casino on that particular day.

Sauer looks at documents from defense yesterday.

Sauer received different gambling documents on Emma Bell. Not in the same format.

On May 8th, 2008 do you see figures totaling more than 9k. I do says Sauer.

Thomas says were you aware that on that day, Bell put into play more than $9,000 in gross bets.

Sauer says "gross bets to me is a pretty slippery number."

Thomas says would say that is significant gambling for a person on a single day. Sauer says I'd say it looks like she was gambling.

Sauer says we did pull Greek town records.

Defense submits document for Greektown gambling of Emma Bell. In 2005- slot coin in $170, 863. She lost $15, 924. in 2006, she gambled $569, 868.34 and lost $39,276. In 2007, put $788,950 in coin slots and lost $56,325. in 2008, she put in $803,022.29 and lost more than $82,000.

Thomas says there is no corroboration for her statement that she gave money to Kilpatrick. There is says Sauer.

Thomas says do you have any phone records of Emma Bell calling the Mayor's Office? Yes says Sauer.

Didn't she tell you that she'd just show up? Yes says Sauer.

And when she went with her money in her bra or her purse, did anyone ever see her hand money to Kwame.? No says Sauer.

Was there any text message between Emma Bell and Kwame over giving him money? I don't believe we have Emma Bell's text messages says Sauer.

Her corroboration is that she went to the bank and had cashier's checks put into cash? In addition to cash activity that Mayor Kilpatrick had through his accounts.

Thomas says do you remember going to grand jury in 2010? Yes says Sauer.

Do you remember a juror asking about a correlation to Kilpatrick? Yes.

Do you remember saying "No, we haven't established a correlation between money Emma Bell received and payments into Kwame's account?" I do says Sauer.

These agreement does not have her pleading guilty to money laundering? Correct says Sauer.

Money laundering typically a higher penalty? Yes says Sauer.

Sauer says Miss Bell took responsibility for full amount of money.

As a result of not pleading to money laundering her sentence was reduced? I can't agree to that.

The sentence guideline is 18-24 months? Yes.

As a result of co-operating, can have it reduced to as much as 9 to 10 months? Correct says Sauer.

November 27th 1006, Emma Bell said in testimony that at time she was giving Kwame 50% of money she was generating? Yes says Sauer, her assertion is she was splitting anything over 5k with Kwame.

April 26th, 2010 Memo. Look at chart.

Thomas says this woman had a gambling habit. correct.

Also acknowledged she was an alcoholic. Not in those words but yes she said she had a drinking habit.

She had financial problems? Don't know that Mr. Thomas.

Thomas says she came up to you with statement that she came up to Kwame with $50,000 and he "told her he could keep it, it was her birthday." I don't remember exactly but remember a birthday.

I don't have a specific memory but could refresh my memory.

Do you think that's an improbable event.

Bullotta objects. Judge says yes, show him documents Mr. Thomas.

Sauer says it doesn't say anything Mr. Thomas about a conversation between Bell and Kwame.

Thomas says I asked if it refreshed your memory? It does says Sauer.

Sauer says there is nothing in my memorandum about them talking about keeping the $50k.

Judge interrupts and says no foundation for question.

Thomas says are you saying that Emma Bell stole 50k. I wouldn't say that says Sauer.

Sauer says she converted the checks and kicked back a portion to Mr. Kilpatrick.

Bullotta objects to Thomas questioning. Judge sustains and says give him back records.

Sauer says report reflects Bell kept entire amount.

No more cross-examination.

11:48AM Bullotta redirects.

Conversation on November 27th 2007 about 50k. "Bell stated that she did not share the 50k because it was around her birthday." Kilpatrick never questioned her actions.

Looking at summary from Greek town of Emma Bell's gambling activity. EB 9.

Sauer says shows slot coin in vs. slot coin out. Bullotta asks would she still be making money to cover losses in 2005. Yes says Sauer.

In 2006, same question. Would she have enough to cover loss, even if she split half with Kwame. Yes says Sauer.

Same for 2007 and 2008.

Any change between March 2010 and today? Yes says Sauer, we talked to Emma Bell.

Bullotta shows columns. Sauer says it is range of kickback estimates Bell says she paid Kilpatrick.

Thomas asks for instruction. Judge explains that defense has no obligation to provide evidence or documentation.

Why were you having ongoing meetings with Emma Bell. To show her cashier's check activity.

Bullotta says first time you met Bell in March 2010. Report covers both first and second meetings in March.

Sauer says beginning of second meeting she said that though initially she said she split only checks above 25k with Kwame, she recanted and said it was anything over 5k that she split.

What was her demeanor like? I observed that it was painful for her to tell us about the kickbacks with Kwame says Sauer.

Originally she would have been splitting less checks. with her change, she was splitting more.

Miss Bell told us in the interview she didn't want Kwame to appear petty splitting the smaller amounts. she said she thought of him as a son.

Bullotta asks if IRS saw any evidence she was hiding income. Yes says Sauer.

In her plea deal, is Bell held accountable for the more than $904,000. Yes says Sauer.

So she is owing more than 300k? Yes says Sauer.

Sauer says specific correlation is difficult to make because it is so easy to conceal cash at home.

Bullotta asks is she had specific check info for amount she paid to Kwame? No she did not says Sauer.

Sauer says Ms. Burris drove Emma Bell around.

Are you aware of some text messages on Emma Bell and Kwame meeting for money? Yes.

12:03PM Thomas redirects.

Burris never told you where in the building Emma Bell was going? Correct says Sauer.

Thomas says you are relying only on what Emma Bell said. Burris said only that she drove to the City county building.

Sauer says I believe we have documents that show cash transactions on both ends.

Thomas says any tape recordings on receiving money? No says Sauer there are text messages...

I said recordings interrupts Thomas.

Told grand jury there was no direct correlation?

There are larger deposits and payments onto the credit card says Sauer.

Thomas says did you ever go to Chase bank to see if he had amounts taken out of the bank? Did you go to bank says Sauer.

Sauer says that Kilpatrick rarely took large amounts out of the bank.

Judge says you need to go into the scope of redirect.

I am your honor says Thomas. Looking at Greektown records.

As I told you in previous testimony, I think your number is a slippery number says Sauer to Thomas. You're looking at the same money coming in and out.

Slippery or not, not typical activity. That's lots of gambling activity.

Chart totaling money Emma Bell received from Kilpatrick related entities:

2003: $119,000

2004: $131,325

2005: $52,004

2006: $256,000.24

2007: $278,221.75

2008: $67,500

Thomas asks if that money is enough to pay off her debts.

"I don't think this reflects her salary" referring to the chart amounts.

There is a dramatic drop in 2008. Thomas says how did she pay off debts?

Sauer says she received funds in previous years and cashier's checks.

You mean funds she stuffed in mattress? I don't know if she stuffed money in mattress says Sauer.

Sauer says you are characterizing something that is not accurate when referring to gambling figures.

Did you consider the fact that she might be saving money? I did consider that says Sauer.

This woman is a gambler? Correct says Sauer.

Did you check any other gambling establishments in Detroit? She gambled at Greek town.

You can't tell the jury that you have records from other gambling establishments. No I can't says Sauer.

Sauer reads "EB stored cashier's checks in her mattress or drawer"

12:20PM Bullotta redirects.

Emma Bell didn't cash all the cashier's checks on the same day? Refresh my memory says Sauer.

She would cash about $10,000 at a time.

Bullotta says if Emma Bell is giving money to Kwame and he is going home and putting it in a shoe would that conceal? Yes says Sauer.

12:21PM Bullotta calls Bob Beeckman of the FBI. Wanted to call another witness but it would take too long.

Judge calls 5 minute recess.


Judge tells court that a juror is ill. So we will adjourn until the morning.

"Watch the presidential debates tonight!" Edmunds tells the jury.

Day 7 recap:

It was all about Emma Bell today. 

The former Kwame Kilpatrick fund-raiser didn't actually make it to court but her presence was certainly felt. In his cross-examination of IRS special agent Ron Sauer,

Kwame Kilpatrick defense lawyer Jim Thomas did his utmost to discredit the government's co-operating witness, branding her just about everything out there: liar, criminal, snitch, gambler and alcoholic who stuffed money in her bra and mattress.

Bell plead guilty to tax evasion last year. She was sentenced to 18 months in jail but may see that amount reduced.

Earlier in his testimony, Sauer revealed that between 2003 and 2008, Bell received a total of $904,051.19 from four Kilpatrick-related entities including Kilpatrick for Mayor, the Next Vision Foundation, Kilpatrick Inaugural Committee and the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

The government alleges that Bell kickbacked more than $250,000 to Kwame Kilpatrick, essentially paying him 50% on any amount greater than $5,000.

Bell had initially told investigators that she split anything over $25,000 with Kilpatrick because she didn't want Kwame to appear "petty" in splitting smaller amounts.

Thomas tried to poke holes in Bell's credibility by getting Sauer to admit she hadn't filed tax returns in possibly more than 20 years, kept bank account balances low to avoid triggering suspicion and had a drinking habit.

Oh, and possibly a little gambling problem too.

Greektown Casino records introduced into evidence today by the defense indicated that Bell had a particular proclivity for the coin slots. In 2005, Bell gambled $170, 863 in coin slots and lost $15, 924. In 2006, she gambled $569, 868.34 and lost $39,276. In 2007, she gambled $788,950 ultimately losing $56,325 and in 2008, Bell gambled $803,022.29 and lost more than $82,000.

Thomas also dug into Sauer for not obtaining records from other casinos and for the defense's ability to uncover a further $42,000 paid out to Emma Bell in August 2003 that government investigators had failed to find. He also referred back to Sauer's grand jury testimony in 2010 where he told a juror "No, we haven't established a correlation between money Emma Bell received and payments made into Kwame's account."

Lastly, Thomas had Sauer read from one of his memorandums where he stated that "EB stored cashier's checks in her mattress or drawer".

The only other witness this morning was Kelly Bartlett, former legislative liaison for the State Budget Office, who continued testimony from yesterday.

Emma Bell is expected to testify tomorrow,. Court resumes at 9AM.

About the author:

Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.