- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 19, 2002

NEW ORLEANS (AP) David Duke, a one-time Ku Klux Klan leader and Louisiana politician who took his call for "white survival" overseas while the government investigated his activities, pleaded guilty yesterday to mail fraud and tax charges.
He could face up to 15 months in prison and $10,000 in fines at his sentencing March 19.
The plea, the same day an indictment was filed, followed his attorney's announcement Monday that Duke had returned to Louisiana to negotiate with prosecutors after three years out of the country.
Prosecutors claimed Duke misrepresented himself to supporters as nearly broke, took in contributions and misspent the money on casino gambling and investments from 1993 to 1999. He also was accused of filing a false 1998 tax return, reportedly claiming $18,831 in income while actually having income of about $65,034.
Duke's attorney, Jim McPherson, said Monday that the Justice Department had been examining Duke for suspected income tax violations involving the $100,000 sale of a list of Duke supporters to Gov. Mike Foster in 1995.
Duke had won a Louisiana House seat in 1988 and ran second for the U.S. Senate in 1990 and governor in 1991, while claiming to have jettisoned his racist views.
A poor showing in the 1992 presidential primaries effectively ended his flirtation with mainstream politics, although he placed third in a 1999 congressional race in the New Orleans area.
Duke had just started a speaking tour in Russia in January 2000 when federal agents raided his home in Mandeville, La. A search warrant, based on testimony from confidential informants, claimed that Duke took hundreds of thousands of dollars he solicited from supporters and gambled away the money at casinos.
Until his return late last week, Duke had been lecturing and speaking in Russia and other European countries in what became a crusade for "white survival" against Jews and non-Europeans.

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