Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Former Kirkland & Ellis Partner Pleads to Tax Crimes (3/6/13)

Theodore L. Freedman, a former senior partner in Kirkland & Ellis, pled guilty today to four counts of tax perjury (Section 7206(1)) of approximately $2,097,211.  See USAO SDNY press release here.

The press release provides the typical hype of such press releases in tax season to encourage others to report taxes properly:
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara stated: “Theodore Freedman was an attorney at a high-powered and prestigious law firm who lied about his multi-million dollar compensation in order to avoid paying taxes, breaking the law and violating his professional code of conduct. Two things are certain: Freedman will now have to pay his taxes and more; and Freedman is now an admitted felon who has sacrificed his reputation, career, and potentially his liberty, for a few dollars. Others should not make the same bad calculation.”
The press release provides more details.  The only comment I have is that the press release says the plea is to four counts of tax fraud, which commonly means tax evasion.  However, the press release further says that
FREEDMAN, 65, of Pine Plains, New York, faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison on each of the tax fraud counts, for a total maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.
Hence, since tax evasion is a five year felony, I infer that the plea was to four counts of tax perjury rather than tax evasion.  Extrapolating from  other mainstream tax sentencings and the sentencing guidelines, as well as other white collar crime cases, he is unlikely to be sentence anywhere near 12 years.


  1. "Two things are certain: Freedman will now have to pay his taxes ..."
    Another thing is certain: as an unemployed convicted felon with no income, he will certainly pay a lot less taxes, if any, to the IRS from now on

  2. Since is relates to years upto 2004, would this not have run out of SOL for prosecution for the Kirkland partner

  3. We don't have enough information to make that determination. At least facially, that is a question that should be asked. One would assume that his lawyers both asked and answered that question and only then advised him to plead guilty.

    Jack Townsend


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