City of Kenner Director of Inspection and Code Enforcement Charged with Conspiracy and Tax Fraud
NEW ORLEANS, LA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that JAMES MOHAMAD, 52, of Kenner, was charged on December 10, 2021 in a 5-count superseding indictment by a federal Grand Jury with conspiracy to use an interstate facility with intent to carry on unlawful activity (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1952(a)(3)) and filing false tax returns (Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1)).
According to the superseding indictment, MOHAMAD, the Director of the Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement for the City of Kenner, paid bribe money to Brian Medus, the Assistant Chief Mechanical Inspector for the City of New Orleans, Safety and Permits Department, in return for the issuance of fraudulent permits for MOHAMAD’s HVAC jobs. Throughout the course of the conspiracy, MOHAMAD paid Medus and others approximately $93,000 to further the bribery scheme. Additionally, MOHAMAD is charged with four counts of filing false tax returns for 2016-2019.
If convicted of Count 1, MOHAMAD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of not more than $250,000, up to three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee. As to each of Counts 2-5, MOHAMAD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three (3) years, a fine of not more than $250,000, up to three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.
A co-defendant, Brian Medus, has pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and is scheduled for sentencing on February 16, 2022.
The United States Attorney’s Office reiterated that the Superseding Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the City of New Orleans/Office of Inspector General. Assistance was also provided by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Assistant United States Attorney Tracey N. Knight is prosecuting the matter.