July 9, 2014

Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin Sentenced for Conspiracy, Bribery, Honest Services Wire Fraud, Money Laundering, and Tax Violations

WASHINGTON—The former mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin, 58, a resident of Frisco, Texas, was sentenced today to serve 120 months in prison and ordered to pay $84,264 in restitution by United States District Judge Helen G. Berrigan of the Eastern District of Louisiana for conspiracy, bribery, honest services wire fraud, money laundering and tax violations, announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. A preliminary order of forfeiture was signed by Judge Berrigan on May 27, 2014 in the amount of $501,200.56.

Nagin served as the Mayor of New Orleans from 2002 to 2010. A federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Louisiana indicted Nagin on Jan. 18, 2013. Nagin stood trial from Jan. 27, 2014, to Feb. 12, 2014 when the jury found Nagin guilty on 20 of 21 counts in the indictment.

“Given the nature and extent of former Mayor Nagin’s criminal conduct and betrayal of public trust over the course of several years, hopefully this result will bring at least some level of resolution to the city and its residents,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the New Orleans Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“In February, a jury of New Orleans citizens sent Mr. Nagin the message, loud and clear, that public officials will be held accountable for public corruption and criminal activity,” said Chief Richard Weber, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Today’s sentence confirms that message—public servants are elected to serve the public, not benefit from the position. No one is above the law, and IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to investigate all financial crimes which undermine the public’s confidence in its elected officials.”

“NOLAOIG discovered financial discrepancies when it conducted an evaluation of the City’s Crime Camera System in 2009,” said Inspector General Ed Quatreveaux for the City of New Orleans. “The joint FBI-NOLAOIG investigation into those discrepancies eventually led to the convictions of Greg Meffert, Mark St. Pierre and the former mayor. NOLAOIG will continue its work to root out fraud and abuse in city operations to protect the city from those who would defraud it.”

“Ray Nagin’s sentencing brings to a close a sordid chapter in New Orleans’ history in which the man charged with leading a city out of crisis instead chose to enrich himself, his family and friends,” said Rafael C. Goyeneche III, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. “This case epitomizes the vital role the public plays in exposing corruption as information supplied by citizens through the Metropolitan Crime Commission aided the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in bringing this case to a just conclusion.”

“Our elected officials are entrusted to place the interests of the citizens above their own,” said United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. “When they violate that trust and break the law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue them zealously and bring them to justice.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division and the New Orleans Office of Inspector General. The U.S. Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance provided by the Metropolitan Crime Commission. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew M. Coman, Richard R. Pickens II and Matthew S. Chester.