News and Press Releases

george grace indicted

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2010

 

MAYOR OF ST. GABRIEL, LOUISIANA, INDICTED

BATON ROUGE, LA - United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced today that a Federal Grand Jury has returned an indictment charging GEORGE L. GRACE, SR., age 67, of St. Gabriel, Louisiana, with eleven (11) counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), bribery involving a federally-funded entity, making false statements, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, wire fraud, use of an interstate facility in aid of racketeering, and forfeiture. If convicted, GRACE, who is the Mayor of the City of St. Gabriel, Louisiana, faces up to 180 years imprisonment and a $2,750,000 fine.

The indictment alleges that GRACE used his official position as Mayor to obtain and attempt to obtain money and other things of value potentially worth millions of dollars from a Baton Rouge businessman, a Houston businessman, and businesspeople associated with a conceptual product known as the Cifer 5000 in connection with transactions GRACE believed were worth millions of dollars.

The indictment alleges that, among other things:

• GRACE attempted to extort a Houston businessman on three separate occasions,
including attempting to obtain a significant interest in a multi-million dollar project.

• GRACE attempted to corruptly persuade a Baton Rouge businessman, who sold products to the City of St. Gabriel, to conceal from the FBI that GRACE had received cash payments from the Baton Rouge businessman.

• GRACE took bribes to use his position as Mayor to take favorable action in connection with a series of transactions involving real estate in St. Gabriel.

• GRACE took bribes to use his position as Mayor to promote and to obtain money for a conceptual product known as the “Cifer 5000.”

U.S. Attorney Cazayoux stated: “This office will continue to aggressively pursue public corruption wherever it exists, whether in small towns or big cities. Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our governments and the ability to conduct fair and honest business. They cannot, and will not, be tolerated.”

FBI Special Agent-in-Charge David Welker stated: “Today’s indictment continues to demonstrate the FBI’s commitment to identify, investigate, and bring to justice those public employees who are bent on enriching themselves at the expenses of the taxpayers. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, simply will not tire and will not falter in our pursuit of public corruption in the State of Louisiana.”

DHS-OIG Inspector General Richard Skinner stated: “DHS-OIG will continue to be committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify and aggressively investigate all allegations of public corruption and extortion concerning DHS program funds.”

This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson who serves as the Senior Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

NOTE: An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.

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