'I have learned some powerful lessons'
Waldholtz enters guilty pleas
June 5, 1996
Web posted at: 9:30 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Joe Waldholtz, ex-husband of Rep. Enid Greene, R-Utah, pleaded guilty Wednesday to four criminal charges in U.S. District Court. One of the guilty pleas, for knowingly assisting with a false tax return, may implicate Greene in a tax evasion scheme.
Waldholtz, 33, said he helped his wife avoid a $39,000 capital gains tax in 1993 by claiming on her return that she had lost over $56,000 on a stock investment. The stock never existed. Greene's 1993 return was filed under "married, but filing separately" status.
Waldholtz also pleaded guilty to a check-kiting scheme that cost a Utah bank over $250,000. He deposited over $250,000 in one bank by cross-writing checks on another bank. The loss was eventually covered by Greene's father.
In a campaign-related charge, Waldholtz also pled guilty to filing a false return to the Federal Election Commission.
The charges carry a maximum carry combined maximum sentences of 39 years in prison and fines of up to $1.5 million, but Justice Department sources said an agreement was reached under which Waldholtz will face 18 to 24 months in jail.
Sentencing will take place September 19.
After Wednesday's hearing, prosecutors said they are still investigating the case, but refused to say whether Enid Greene was under investigation.
"We can't comment on an ongoing case," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Iskoe.
"Representative Greene filed the tax return," said Assistant U.S. Attorney William Lawler, who has headed the prosecution team in the investigation. "Mr. Waldholtz's sentence will be influenced by how much assistance he gives us."
Charles Roistacher, attorney for Greene, said he had been assured by prosecutors that his client was not the target of an investigation.
"Joe Waldholtz cannot be believed. He has lied all his life," Roistacher said. (561K AIFF or WAV sound)
And for her part, Greene stood by her statements that she did not know how her husband was managing the family money. "I have read the plea agreement. It in every way supports and validates what I told the public last December," she said in a Washington news conference. "I did not know what Joe was doing."
The couple separated last year, and a Utah judge granted their divorce Wednesday morning.
Waldholtz, appearing to be on the verge of tears, made a lengthy statement on the courthouse steps. He admitted that he kited checks and assisted in the false tax return. (825K AIFF or WAV sound)
When asked if Greene was aware of the false information she had filed, Waldholtz's attorney stopped him from answering, saying they were assisting the prosecution.
Waldholtz also apologized to his family, friends and his infant daughter Elizabeth. "I have learned some very powerful lessons that I can share with my daughter," he said. "The ends do not justify the means. There is an absolute truth. And, most importantly, always, always tell the truth, particularly to the people you love."
Greene, who won a razor-thin victory over Shepard in 1994, has decided not to seek another term this year.
- Sources: Prosecutors discuss plea bargain with Waldholtz - May 30, 1996
- Judge agrees to grant congresswoman's request for divorce - May 18, 1996
- Waldholtz pleads not guilty to bank fraud charges - May 10, 1996
- Congresswoman's estranged husband freed in contempt case - May 4, 1996
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