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July 14, 2011 2:54 PM

Ex-Kirkland Partner Charged with Tax Fraud

Posted by Brian Baxter

UPDATE: 7/15/11, 11:45 a.m. Ted Freedman has entered a not guilty plea to the tax charges, according to sibling publication the New York Law Journal.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan on Thursday charged former Kirkland & Ellis restructuring partner Theodore Freedman with underreporting his income by more than $2 million during a four-year period from 2001 to 2004.

Authorities claim that Freedman, 63, failed to pay more than $1.01 million in federal income taxes as a result of his actions. The former Kirkland attorney, prosecutors allege, falsely stated that he ran a solo legal practice in Dutchess County in upstate New York when he was in fact "a senior partner in a major United States law firm."

The indictment against Freedman states that he earned roughly $5.4 million in compensation from Kirkland between 2001 and 2004, but underreported his earnings by $2.1 million by claiming just $3.29 million in partnership proceeds. Freedman also falsely claimed to have sustained losses of $542,358 in expenses from his fictitious solo practice, according to the federal charges against him.

New York State Bar records show Freedman as licensed to practice in the state and list a phone number for him in Pine Plains, N.Y., a town in Dutchess County. A call to that number was not immediately returned by the time of this story.

Freedman's lawyer, Proskauer Rose litigation cochair Robert Cleary, declined to comment on the charges against his client. Cleary is a former U.S. attorney for New Jersey and the Southern District of Illinois who served as the lead federal prosecutor in the case against Theodore Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber, more than a decade ago.

While at Kirkland, Freedman once served as cochair of the firm's mass torts group, according to this story by sibling publication the New Jersey Law Journal. He worked on several high-profile Chapter 11 cases, such as the decadelong proceedings for W.R. Grace & Co.

Kirkland said in a statement that Freedman's actions were unrelated to his work at the firm.

"Mr. Freedman resigned from the firm in October 2010," a Kirkland spokeswoman said on Thursday. "We understand that the federal indictment relates exclusively to Mr. Freedman's personal conduct. Accordingly, the firm will not comment on the matter."

If convicted of tax fraud, Freedman faces up to three years in prison. The case against him is being prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorney Danya Perry in Manhattan.

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