New Orleans (Dec. 19, 2002) -- Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has pleaded guilty to mail and tax fraud for soliciting money from supporters and then using the bulk of the cash to feed a casino gambling habit.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana Jim Letten said that as part of the plea agreement with the government, Duke returned to the United States and has agreed to serve a 15-month sentence. Until his return late last week, Duke had been lecturing and speaking in Russia and other countries as part of a crusade for "white survival" against Jews and non-Europeans.

According to Letten, Duke understated his gross income on tax returns for 1988 and then from 1993 through 1999, he devised a scheme to bilk his supporters of money by issuing a series of solicitations through the mail.

These mailings were based in part on misleading information concerning his financial status and his intended use of the money he sought. Duke admitted in court that he actually used large portions of the money he solicited for casino gaming.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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