Former Mayor of New Orleans guilty of corruption charges

 

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was found guilty of federal corruption charges Wednesday after a two-week trial.

Nagin, famous for his desperate pleas for help during Hurricane Katrina, was found guilty of 20 of the 21 counts of bribery, money laundering, fraud and filing false tax returns, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The sole acquittal was on one of the bribery counts.

Prosecutors had accused Nagin of being at the center of a kickback scheme in which he allegedly received checks, cash, wire transfers, personal services and free travel from businessmen seeking contracts and favorable treatment from the city.

Nagin left office in 2010, after two terms in office. There was no immediate reaction to the verdict from the former mayor, who had insisted on his innocence, or his lawyers.

The charges detailed more than $200,000 in bribes, his family members allegedly received a vacation in Hawaii; first-class airfare to Jamaica; private jet travel and a limousine for New York City; and cellular phone service.

In exchange, businesses that coughed up cash for Nagin and his family won more than $5 million in city contracts, according to a January 2013 indictment.

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