CINCINNATI – A former Cincinnati city councilman pleaded guilty in federal court here today to honest services wire fraud.
Jeffrey Pastor, 39, of Cincinnati, admitted he deprived the citizens of Cincinnati of their right to honest services by a public official by accepting bribes in exchange for official action.
According to his plea agreement, between June 2018 and January 2019, Pastor accepted and agreed to accept things of value in exchange for favorable official action by Pastor relating to two development projects in the city.
For example, in September 2018 Pastor and his associate flew to Miami, Florida, on a private plane to meet with investors regarding a real estate development project. Pastor never paid for or disclosed the trip. During the trip, Pastor explained he would ensure favorable action on behalf of the city for the project and could receive money through his associate’s non-profit entity (which had been incorporated two weeks prior). Pastor discussed “compensation” and agreed to accept $15,000 for helping with the project. He said the purpose of his associate’s entity was to “sanitize” the money.
After flying back to Cincinnati, Pastor called the investor to “negotiate a monthly retainer” and said that $15,000 would be the retainer fee for providing official action.
On Oct. 4, 2018, Pastor accepted $15,000 in cash. After receiving the money, Pastor continued to solicit additional payment from the investor and others.
Pastor and Tyran Marshall were indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2020. Charges remain pending against Marshall, including conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, bribery, attempted extortion and money laundering.
Pastor’s plea agreement would allow for a prison sentence of up to 24 months.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; and J. William Rivers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division announced the guilty plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Matthew W. McFarland. Deputy Criminal Chief Emily N. Glatfelter and Assistant United States Attorney Matthew C. Singer are representing the United States in this case.
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