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Private-Equity Billionaire Robert Smith Will Face Credibility Test at Lawyer’s Trial

  • Billionaire claimed innocence before admitting to tax crimes
  • Smith’s changing accounts likely subject of cross-examination
Robert Smith
Robert SmithPhotographer: Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg

The legal team for a Houston-based attorney accused of helping private-equity billionaire Robert Smith evade taxes for a decade indicated it will challenge Smith’s credibility if he testifies as a prosecution witness at the lawyer’s trial.

On Friday, attorneys for Carlos Kepke filed a motion saying prosecutors haven’t turned over all documents in their possession relating to Smith’s claims of innocence during a multiyear investigation before he did an about-face in 2020. Smith, founder of Vista Equity Partners, agreed in a non-prosecution agreement, or NPA, that he committed tax crimes, and agreed to pay $139 million in taxes and penalties and cooperate with prosecutors.