Lawyer seeks lower penalty for Nagin corruption

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is fighting federal prosecutors’ efforts to seize more than a half-million dollars they say he should forfeit as a result of his conviction on federal corruption charges.
Prosecutors last week said Nagin, who plans an appeal of his conviction, should be forced to turn over more than $501,000 related to his February conviction on bribery, wire fraud and money laundering charges. Nagin’s lawyer, Robert Jenkins, said in a Friday filing that the government’s request should be denied because, in two instances, Nagin shares liability with others named in the indictment against him.
Those allegations involve amounts totaling more than $210,000. They relate to a national retailer that was never charged in the case and a businessman who admitted, in a plea deal, that he supplied free granite to a Nagin family business.
No hearing date has been set on the forfeiture issue. Nagin is set for sentencing on June 11.
Nagin was convicted on 20 criminal counts that also included conspiracy and filing false tax returns. The charges stemmed from his two terms as New Orleans mayor from 2002 to 2010, including the recovery that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In the forfeiture motion last week, prosecutors listed 11 instances in which they said Nagin received some sort of illegal payment: money, goods or other benefits. They value the total value of those payments at $501,200.

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