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As DA Jason Williams awaits federal tax trial, another former lawyer in his firm is charged | Courts

Another former lawyer in Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams’ private law firm has been charged with misdemeanor tax crimes, weeks before Williams is due to stand trial on 10 federal tax counts.

Attorney Gregory Sauzer was charged with four misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file federal returns over four consecutive years ending in 2018. He is due to be arraigned Friday.

Sauzer, 35, was charged in a bill of information, which generally means a defendant has agreed to plead guilty and is cooperating with authorities. His attorney, Aidan Shah, declined to comment Thursday.

Assistant US Attorney Kelly Uebinger of the Western District of Louisiana, the prosecutor who filed the charges against Sauzer, also is leading the government team aiming to convict Williams and law partner Nicole Burdett at a two-week trial scheduled to begin July 18, records show . The government had issued a subpoena for Sauzer to testify in the case against Williams and Burdett before a January trial date was delayed.

Williams and Burdett face a 10-count indictment accusing them of a tax-fraud conspiracy, five counts of tax fraud and four counts of failing to file the proper forms for large cash receipts. Prosecutors claim Williams shaved more than $200,000 off his tax bill over those five years with Burdett’s help.

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Prosecutors have dropped an 11th charge from the June 2020 indictment, which landed as Williams, then on the City Council, was poised to run for district attorney. He easily won the seat in a runoff that December in spite of the charges and took office in January 2021.

Williams and Burdett have both pleaded not guilty, while blaming Westwego tax preparer Henry Timothy, who is expected to be the government’s star witness, for any excessive business deductions. Williams, who campaigned as a criminal justice reformer, has also argued that he was targeted for prosecution out of political malice.

Sauzer is the second former attorney who worked for Williams, aside from Burdett, to face charges stemming from the tax investigation. Defense attorney Robert Hjortsberg pleaded guilty last year to a single misdemeanor count for failing to file his 2017 and awaits sentencing.

The bill of information charging Sauzer was filed June 16.

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