U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana
(504) 680-3000
September 30, 2015

Former Orleans Parish School Board Member Ira Thomas Sentenced

NEW ORLEANS—U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that IRA THOMAS, 58, of New Orleans, a former member of the Orleans Parish School Board (“OPSB”), was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan sentenced THOMAS to one year plus 1 day incarceration, followed by one year of supervised release, a $4,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.

According to court documents, THOMAS admitted that, beginning in September 2013 and continuing until January 2015, he and others participated in a conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud. THOMAS further admitted that, in his role as an Orleans Parish School Board member, he engaged in a scheme to defraud Orleans Parish and its citizens of his honest services through bribery and a kickback scheme, whereby THOMAS used his public office and official capacity to provide favorable treatment, including attempting to facilitate the awarding of a contract, that was designed to benefit the business and financial interest of an individual who provided him with a bribe and kickback in the form of cash payment disguised as a campaign contribution.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter and thanked the Metropolitan Crime Commission for their assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Toomey is in charge of the prosecution.

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