Friend of DA Seth Williams charged with bribery, tax evasion

- A friend of embattled Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is facing federal charges for allegedly giving the embattled DA thousands of dollars in bribes, and not paying his taxes.

Federal authorities said in a criminal complaint that from 2010 to 2015, Mohammad N. Ali “engaged in an arrangement with Williams” and that Ali would offer and give benefits to Williams and his girlfriend.

They listed benefits “such as travel, money, and other things of value that were concealed from timely public disclosure by Williams and, as consideration and in exchange for these benefits, Williams would reciprocate by performing and agreeing to perform official acts on behalf of defendant Ali and by violating Williams's legal duties as specific opportunities arose.”

One of them, from Feb. 2012, was “Expenses for Williams and (girlfriend) to travel to, and stay at, an all- inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (the "Punta Cana Resort") worth approximately $4,805, to include "royal service" bracelets that permitted Williams and (girlfriend) access to a private beach and personal butler services for their luxury suite, round-trip airline tickets for Williams and (girlfriend) worth approximately $1,576, and meals and amenities received during such trip.”

Shortly after, there was “A custom sofa for Williams worth approximately $3,212” and in March 2013, “A $7,000 check for Williams.”

It also says Ali asked Williams to use his position as DA to limit security when returning to the country, and to help a friend of Ali’s who was being investigated by the DA’s office.

The second charge says Ali lied on his income tax Form 1040 for 2012 because his “income tax return reported taxable income of approximately $497,810, when in fact, as defendant Ali well knew, he failed to report additional taxable income of approximately $246,504.”

Last month, Williams, himself, was indicted on more than 20 counts of federal bribery and fraud related charges. Authorities had launched an investigation into Williams and his interests back in 2015.

Williams announced he will not seek a third term in office but has resisted calls to step down due to the legal problems hanging over his head. He faces 5-20 years if convicted.

Wednesday night on FOX 29 News at 10, Dave Schratwieser will have more, including a conversation with Mohammad N. Ali, the man allegedly behind the money for Philadelphia's top prosecutor, Seth Williams.

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