Louisiana State Senator Pleads Guilty in Federal Corruption Case
by Jim Kouri
Louisiana State Senator Derrick D.T. Shepherd pled guilty on Friday before US District Judge Carl Barbier on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced US Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court papers, the defendant admitted that he laundered illegal proceeds for co-defendant Gwendolyn Moyo, who received premiums for bogus construction bonds and turned over those premiums to Shepherd. The Democrat state official then deposited the premiums into his law firm bank accounts.
Shepherd then remitted a portion of the money back to Moyo and to other criminal associates of Moyo, while keeping a portion of the premiums himself. Shepherd also admitted that he created false bills and time records to disguise his actual role in the laundering scheme. Moyo is scheduled to go to trial on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 and is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The state senator faces a maximum statutory penalty of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, a three (3) year period of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of one hundred dollars. He can also be ordered to pay restitution to any victims in this matter.
Compounding Shepherd's troubles, in late July, 2008, he was arrested for stealing his ex-girlfriend's cell phone and $100. His ex-girlfriend, Thaise Ashford, also accused him of hitting her. When Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Deputies went to Shepherd's house to arrest him, they observed him receiving a lap dance from one of two women who were inside the house.
Due to his arrest on state charges, Shepherd's federal bond terms were revised, and he was subject to house arrest at his mother's house. Shepherd's actual residence, where he was arrested, is outside his Senate district. The scrutiny of this residency discrepancy apparently caused Shepherd to put this house up for sale in early August, 2008.
Before Sen. Shepherd's legal problems, he was considered stiff competition for US Congressman William Jefferson, another Democrat officeholder indicted for crimes by the US Justice Department.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigative Division. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael W. Magner, Gregory N. Kennedy, Daniel Friel.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.