Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Prosecution argues Ray Nagin's sentence, too lenient

On August 29, 2005, a massive storm surge caused by Hurricane Katrina caused several levees within the New Orleans area to fail. As a result, an entire major metropolitan city along with outlying regions was engulfed in water and completely devastated. In the wake of Katrina, the city's mayor Ray Nagin gained worldwide recognition and admiration as he pleaded for assistance in the rescue and evacuation of thousands of residents who failed or were unable to heed his calls for mandatory evacuation.

More recently, the 58-year-old politician and businessman has faced very different struggles as he was recently sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison. Included in the list of criminal indictments against Nagin were those related to tax crimes like money laundering. Upon sentencing the former mayor, the judge noted her reasons for departing from sentencing guidelines that, if followed, would have put Nagin behind bars for up to 20 years.

While recognizing Nagin's involvement in criminal activities related to bribery, corruption and money laundering; the judge reasoned his role was fairly minor to those who orchestrated the activities and his share of profits roughly $500,000 as compared to millions. Additionally, the judge commented that Nagin's actions appeared to have been borne out of a "deeply misguided desire to provide for those closest to him."

Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of 15 to 20 years and were upset with the ruling arguing Nagin's testimony showed his "unwillingness to accept responsibility for his actions." Nagin's defense attorney, however, spoke to his client's overall character and the fact that Nagin is a first-time offender.

Ohio residents who are facing criminal charges related to tax crimes may benefit from the advice and counsel of a defense attorney. An attorney will work to protect an individual's rights and defend against criminal charges. When applicable, an attorney can also aid in helping negotiate more favorable sentencing terms.

Source: USA Today, "Ex-New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin sentenced to 10 years," Paul Murphy and Mike Perlstein, July 9, 2014

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