NEW ORLEANS — Jason Williams deducted professional fees that went to his mother, clothing costs and a second residence, a special agent of the IRS testified in court Friday.
Agent Tim Moore recounted the payment to Williams’ mother along with over $10,000 in clothing that shouldn’t have been allowed, he said. Moore said that clothing can only be deducted if it is necessary for that type of business and something that you wouldn’t use elsewhere like a haz-mat suit or a police uniform.
Moore also testified the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s tax form deducted $15,000 for a mortgage payment to a second residence that had no relation to his business.
At one point during the questioning, Judge Lance Africk reminded jurors that they would be deciding if the deductions and expenses were legitimate or not.
Williams and his business partner Nicole Burdett are charged with deducting hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses that shouldn’t have been allowed in an effort to shield a lot of money from tax payments. Williams and Burdett’s attorneys contend that the pair entrusted their taxes to a preparer and expected him to handle them properly. The preparer, Henry Timothy, has pleaded guilty to cheating on his own taxes and made a plea deal with the government.
IRS Agent Moore has yet to be cross-examined by defense attorneys as the judge ruled that some documents that would be displayed needed to be redacted. Moore is expected to continue answering prosecutors’ questions and be cross-examined later.
Gregory Sauzer, an attorney who worked in the law office with Williams and Burdett from 2015-2018 was then called to the stand. Sauzer was also questioned about Timothy, who has been the center of the case and who both sides have attacked – the defense saying he acted on his own, and the prosecution saying that Timothy was hired because he was a family friend who wouldn’t balk at doctoring Williams and Burdett’s tax returns.
Sauzer was asked if he knew of Timothy, whose nickname was “Bubby.”
Sauzer said he knew him to be an accountant who did Burdett’s taxes and taxes for some other people.
Uebinger: Was that offered to you? (having Timothy do his taxes)
Sauzer: It was an option
Uebinger: Why didn’t you want to use “Bubby”
Sauzer: It was an accountant from Westwego who did taxes out of his house and his nickname was “Bubby.”
Defense Attorney Lisa Wayne countered by asking Sauzer that he had told the government that he didn't use Timothy (Bubby) because he already had his own preparer and not because he thought there was anything weird.
Sauzer replied: I believe so, yes.
Judge Africk told jurors that he expected the case to wrap up next week.