TWO ST. BERNARD LAWYERS SENTENCED TO PRISON TERMS FOR BRIBERY SCHEME
NUNZIO SALVADORE “Sal” CUSIMANO, JR., age 58, and VICTOR J. “V.J.” DAUTERIVE, age 57, were sentenced in federal court today by U. S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon for their roles in a conspiracy to deprive the citizens of St. Bernard Parish of their right to receive the honest services of Judge Wayne G. Cresap, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. Specifically, CUSIMANO was sentenced to thirty-three (33) months in prison and DAUTERIVE was sentenced to forty-eight (48) months in prison. Judge Lemmon ordered that both defendants be placed on three (3) years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment, during which time the defendants will be under federal supervision and risk an additional term of imprisonment should they violate any terms of their supervised release.
According to court documents, St. Bernard Parish Judge Cresap entered into an illegal agreement with lawyers CUSIMANO and DAUTERIVE, in which Cresap converted secured bond obligations to unsecured personal surety bonds, thereby allowing the releases of charged individuals on signatures, and without collateral security. The scheme would begin when clients of attorney CUSIMANO or DAUTERIVE would retain them to facilitate the release of an inmate being held on a secured bond which they could not afford. Attorney CUSIMANO or DAUTERIVE would then place a telephone call to Cresap and request that the secured bond be converted to an unsecured surety bond which allowed the inmate’s release on a mere signature. After Cresap converted the bond, thereby allowing inmate’s release, either CUSIMANO or DAUTERIVE would make a cash payment to Cresap.
U. S. Attorney Letten and FBI Special Agent in Charge David Welker, as well as the investigative and prosecution team, offer their thanks to Rafael Goyeneche and the Metropolitan Crime Commission for providing valuable assistance in this successful case.
The investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Marcelle and Richard Pickens.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org