Friday, January 18, 2013
Black crime: Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 federal corruption charges, including bribery, money laundering, fraud and filing false tax returns
Nagin defrauded the city through a bribery and kickback scheme in which he received checks, cash, wire transfers, personal services and free travel from businessmen seeking favorable treatment, the 25-page federal indictment says. Among the conspiracy charges is an accusation that Nagin awarded no bid work to a city contractor who provided concealed and direct campaign monies to Nagin, the indictment says. Nagin received bribes from city contractors in the amounts of $60,000, $2,250, $50,000, $10,000, the indictment says. He also received a bribe in the form of granite inventory from a city construction contractor. Nagin faces nine counts of honest service wire fraud, that he received nine wire transfers amounting to $12,500 each that were bribes or kickback payoffs from the same city construction contractor in 2010 and 2011, the indictment says. In his 2005 tax return - the same year that Katrina hit the Gulf coast - Nagin filed a false tax return claiming his income was $156,278, the indictment says. He is also accused of filing false returns for 2006 listing his income at $170,364, for 2007 with an income of $31,163, and for 2008 with a $143,852 income, the indictment said. In 2005, as Katrina became the single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history, Nagin took center stage when he excoriated the slow pace of federal and state relief efforts, even using profanities. Nagin, who is black, urged the reconstruction of a "chocolate New Orleans," adding, "You can't have New Orleans no other way."