Former Executive Director of NOAH, Stacey Jackson, Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that STACEY JACKSON, age 47, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today for her role in a conspiracy to steal federal funds and demand kickbacks from a program receiving federal funds.
U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon sentenced JACKSON to 60 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. JACKSON was also ordered to pay over $424,000 in restitution to Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) and to individual victims, as well as a $50,000 fine.
According to court documents, JACKSON, the former Executive Director of New Orleans Affordable Homeownership (“NOAH”), a city agency and non-profit corporation, conspired with EARL MYERS, TRELLIS SMITH, and others to misuse and personally benefit from federal funds that NOAH had received, in violation of the law. HUD both before and after Hurricane Katrina, had provided grant money to the City of New Orleans to address blight within the city and to remediate homes damaged by the storm.
JACKSON, as the Executive Director of NOAH, was responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency and determined how much each contractor would be paid. JACKSON arranged to overpay certain contractors, such as MYERS and SMITH, instructing them to kickback portions of the overpayments toJACKSON’S benefit.
Specifically, court documents state that on numerous occasions, JACKSON instructed MYERS and SMITH to pay her kickbacks out of the NOAH money she paid them for work that could not be substantiated by invoices or work actually performed. For example, in or near October 2005, JACKSON, wrote a check from NOAH to Parish Dubuclet, a company operated by her friend, SMITH, for approximately $15,260, which was deposited into a bank account belonging to Smith and Parish Dubuclet. On or about October 8, 2005, Parish Dubuclet wrote a check in the amount of $10,460 to JACKSON’Sfather, which was deposited into a bank account that JACKSON, controlled jointly with her father. Several days later, JACKSON used this money to write a check to a tree removal service to pay for the removal of a tree from her mother’s yard.
Court documents state that from in or near December of 2006 through in or near July of 2007, JACKSONcontracted with MYERS to renovate properties that she owned, which were located on 6th Street and Danneel Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. JACKSON paid MYERS tens of thousands of dollars toward the renovation project and used public funds belonging to the United States and distributed to NOAH to pay MYERS a portion of the money she owed him for these renovations.
Documents in the court records also outline that on or about November 1, 2007, JACKSON wrote two checks to companies owned and operated by MYERS. One check was for $47,899.50 to MYERS & Sons. JACKSON instructed MYERS to give portions of this money to different entities, such as a school thatJACKSON was affiliated with. The second check for $32,842.50 was payable to Excel Development, also owned and operated by MYERS. JACKSON directed MYERS to kickback a portion of this money to her by having him write two checks, one for $9,400 and one for $7,000 payable to Z.F., a person whoJACKSON knew personally and to whose checking account she had access. MYERS complied with these instructions because he knew it would ensure that he would continue getting NOAH remediation work assignments from JACKSON.
Also according to court documents, on or around August 13, 14, and 15, 2008, after JACKSON became aware that MYERS had received a subpoena from a federal grand jury ordering him to turn over documents supporting the work he had done for NOAH, JACKSON provided false and fraudulent documents to MYERS in an effort to mislead the federal grand jury into finding that no fraud occurred at the defendant’s direction or while she was the Executive Director of NOAH.
“Stacey Jackson’s criminal conduct was particularly despicable, as it prevented our most disadvantaged residents from receiving much-needed assistance as they struggled to rebuild their lives following Hurricane Katrina,” stated U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite. “Of course, our entire region suffers as well, as her corruption perpetuates entrenched stereotypes about our public officials and further erodes public trust in our government. The court appropriately imposed the statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison, along with full restitution to her victims and a significant fine.”
“In the aftermath of the convictions and sentencings of former Mayor Ray Nagin and Ms. Jackson, the FBI and its law enforcement partners will continue their tireless pursuit of all those who unlawfully financially capitalize upon the Katrina tragedy event as its 10-year anniversary nears,” stated Michael Anderson, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Orleans Field Office.
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Gabriel L. Grchan said, “We are pleased with the announcement of today’s sentence. Ms. Jackson will now be held accountable for using a public trust position to bill the citizens of New Orleans for work that was never performed. This investigation is a prime example of how Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation work with the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office to bring individuals involved in fraud to justice. We will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to stop those individuals who scheme and conspire with each other to benefit themselves to the detriment of other citizens and their government.”
“This sentencing was the result of outstanding investigative work conducted by HUD-OIG, and our law enforcement partners,” stated Wyatt J. Achord, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General. “This collaborative effort sends a clear message that if someone steals from government subsidized programs, or intentionally misdirects funds for their personal gain, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
“I am pleased that the New Orleans Office of Inspector General was able to assist our federal partners in gathering evidence for this prosecution,” said New Orleans IG Ed Quatrevaux.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development—Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the City of New Orleans—Office of Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. Assistant U.S. Attorney and Senior Litigation Counsel Fred P. Harper, Jr. and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharan Lieberman are in charge of the prosecution.