Bernard Kerik, New York City's former top cop, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for tax fraud and lying to the Bush White House during his nomination to head the Department of Homeland Security.
The prison sentence, which was above the 27 months to 33 months agreed to by lawyers on both sides, ends a dramatic downfall for the former police commissioner who helped lead the city's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The judge had warned he wasn't bound by the agreement.
"Today's sentencing of Bernard Kerik is one of the most powerful recent reminders that no one in this country is above the law," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The sentence also includes three years of supervised release.
Kerik, 54 years old, pleaded guilty to the charges in November to eight felonies and agreed to pay $187,931 in restitution. His prison sentence could have run as long as 61 years.
He was ordered to surrender on May 17. Prosecutors had asked the judge to begin the sentence immediately.
At the November plea hearing, Kerik admitted that a contractor paid about $255,000 for renovations to his apartment and failed to report that figure as income on his tax returns. Kerik also acknowledged he lied about the matter when the Bush administration was vetting him for the cabinet post.