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Ex-New Orleans mayor found guilty of fraud

C. Ray Nagin, was convicted of 20 counts of fraud Wednesday.

By Gabrielle Levy
Ex-New Orleans mayor found guilty of fraud
C. Ray Nagin, shown in this file photo after being sworn in for a second term as Mayor of New Orleans on June 1, 2006, was charged in a 21-count indictment with bribery, honest service wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, filing false tax returns by a federal grand jury on January 18, 2013. UPI/A.J. Sisco | License Photo

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin was convicted of 20 charges of fraud for accepting payoffs for contracts.

Nagin, 57, was mayor during Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent aftermath, serving two terms from 2002 to 2010. During the seven-day trial, more than 30 witnesses testified, including some of the businessmen who have already pleaded guilty to bribing the Democratic mayor for city contracts.

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Prosecutors described a pattern of transactions in which a company would come to Nagin after trying get city work, and he would ask them for a favor, most often in the form of a payment to Nagin's granite countertop business, but also in perks such as trips or gifts.

In sum, prosecutors said Nagin collected more than half a million dollars in benefits, while contractors ended up with millions in city work.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Nagin could face up to to 20 years in prison. After he was convicted Wednesday, he was released on bond, but placed on home detention.

[New York Times]

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