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Ex-Kirkland Partner Freedman Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

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March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Former Kirkland & Ellis LP senior partner Theodore Freedman pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with the filing of false tax forms.

Freedman changed his plea yesterday from not guilty to guilty of four counts of tax fraud. U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts in Manhattan accepted the plea and set sentencing for Sept. 17. Freedman’s lawyers reached a plea agreement with U.S. attorneys.

Indicted in July 2011, Freedman misrepresented his income as a partner at the law firm by about $2 million, the U.S. said. He also claimed more than $500,000 in expenses for a sole proprietorship that didn’t exist, the government said.

“I accept responsibility for the serious underreporting of my taxes,” Freedman, 65, told the judge yesterday. “It has been very hard for me to say these words.”

Freedman was a member of the firm’s restructuring group. His income for the years 2001 through 2004 was $5.39 million, compared with the $2.1 million he reported for the period, the U.S. said in a statement. The tax loss to the government from Freedman’s fraud was more than $1 million, the U.S. said.

He faced a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, if convicted on all charges.

At the time of his indictment, Kirkland & Ellis said it “relates exclusively to Mr. Freedman’s personal conduct. Accordingly the firm will not comment on the matter.”

The case is U.S. v. Freedman, 11-cr-00599, U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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