Businessman Tony Soave Says He Gave Kwame Lavish Trips and $10,000 in Pistons Tickets

Grosse Pointe Farms businessman Tony Soave, who claims he was extorted by Kwame Kilpatrick as part of the pay-to-play culture at city hall, added fuel to the prosecution's case on Wednesday.

Soave testified that he provided Kilpatrick and his inner circle with $260,000 worth of private jet trips to destinations in the U.S., Bermuda and Bahamas, according to Robert Snell of the Detroit News.  Soave said he also gave Kilpatrick, who asked for tickets, $10,000 in Pistons playoff tickets for floor seats, and gave his father Bernard Kilpatrick a $6,000 Cartier watch.

Asked why he provided all that, he said to protect a $50 million sewer deal and ensure any future deals.

Soave testified that he had three jets -- a Learjet 45, a Dassault Falcon 20 and a Turbo Commander. In one instance, Soave flew Kilpatrick and his mistress and chief of staff Christine Beatty to New York.  

Soave was asked by the prosecutor if he ever requested payment for the flights, according to the News.

“At some point, did you ever talk to (Kilpatrick) about billing him for the flights?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.

“I brought up to him that maybe I should be billing him for some of these flights because it was getting to be a lot of flights,” Soave said, adding that Kilpatrick would into it, but he never paid.

The News reported: 

“Why did you keep allowing him to use the jets?” prosecutor Michael Bullotta asked.

“I wanted to keep him happy,” Soave said. “I didn’t want him holding another job up, OK? There was one job held up and I had that in my mind all the time and I didn’t want it to happen again.”

As if Kilpatrick didn't have his fair share of problems, he's now been ordered to appear in Wayne County Circuit Court on Dec. 12.  WXYZ reports that Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner is expected to address a missed November restitution payment, which puts Kilpatrick in violation of his parole.

" Kwame Kilpatrick has missed his November 2012 payment. We (Wayne County Prosecutor's office) hope that Michigan Department of Corrections will look into this because Kilpatrick is violating his terms of his parole and he is under the MDOC's jurisdiction," Wayne County Prosecutor spokeswoman Maria Miller said in a statement to 7 Action News.

Read more:  Detroit News
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