Two current, a former alderman of Saint-Louis charged with corruption | USAO-EDMO

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ST. LOUIS — Two current and one former St. Louis city councilors, including board chairman Lewis Reed, have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of repeatedly abusing their office in multiple ways in exchange for cash bribes and other valuables.

Roseau, 22 years oldn/a Ward Alderman Jeffrey L. Boyd and elder 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad was all charged on May 25. Collins-Muhammad resigned from office on May 12, 2022 due to the ongoing criminal investigation. They are due to surrender and make their first court appearance Thursday at 1 p.m. Reed faces two corruption charges. Collins-Muhammad was charged with two bribery charges and one honest services bribery/wire fraud charge. Boyd faces two bribery-related charges and a separate two-count wire fraud indictment alleging he fraudulently demanded $22,000 from his insurance company for damage to vehicles he he falsely claimed to possess.

The main indictment alleges that Collins-Muhammad and Reed helped a small business owner obtain a lucrative property tax cut in return for a series of bribes related to what the deed prosecution calls “Project A”.

The indictment also alleges that in “Project B”, Boyd accepted money to help the business owner buy city-owned property for tens of thousands of dollars less than she wasn’t worth it, and accepted more money to help the business owner get a lucrative tax. discount for this project.

Project A:

The indictment exposes a years-long scheme in which Collins-Muhammad and then Reed sought to help the owner of the business, referred to in the indictment as “John Doe”, to Obtain a significant property tax abatement for a new gas station and convenience. store development in the Collins-Muhammad district. Doe estimated the reduction could be worth between $20,000 and $30,000 a year for at least 10 years, according to the indictment. In all, Reed accepted $9,000 in cash from Doe, according to the indictment. Collins-Muhammad accepted $7,000 in cash, $3,000 in campaign contributions, a new iPhone 11 and a 2016 Volkswagen CC sedan in exchange for her help, according to the indictment. Collins-Muhammad and Reed eventually worked to pass council bills that provided for the property tax abatement for Project A.

During Reed’s 2021 mayoral race, Doe also gave Reed $6,000 total in cash and $3,500 in campaign contributions for Reed’s assistance in Doe’s ultimately unsuccessful bid to win the Minority Business Enterprise certification for his trucking business and to help him win contracts for city construction projects, the indictment alleges.

Collins-Muhammad is also accused of accepting $3,000 after arranging a meeting with an official who could direct the business to Doe’s trucking company. Collins-Muhammad then requested another $2,500 on the official’s behalf, but instead used it to purchase a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer, the indictment alleges.

Project B:

A separate scheme set out in the main indictment involved Doe’s purchase of commercial property on Geraldine Avenue in St. Louis from the city’s Land Reuse Authority, which owns and sells vacant properties. The property was in Boyd’s neighborhood.

Collins-Muhammad introduced Doe to Boyd so Boyd could help with the purchase, telling Doe he would have to pay cash for Boyd’s help, according to the indictment. With Boyd’s help, Doe was eventually able to purchase the property from the LRA for $14,000. The LRA valued it at $50,000 and Doe estimated it would have cost $250,000 had it been sold privately, according to the indictment. Boyd also submitted and sponsored a council bill which provided a substantial property tax reduction for Doe’s Project B.

Boyd accepted a total of $9,500 in cash from Doe related to Project B, and Doe also performed free repairs worth $1,611 on Boyd’s 2006 Chevrolet Impala and $733 on his Kia pickup truck, according to the indictment. Collins-Muhammad received an additional $1,000 cash for introducing Doe to Boyd.

Boyd has been charged in a separate case with two counts of wire fraud over a scheme in which he and Doe are accused of agreeing to split the proceeds of insurance fraud related to a vehicle accident. on January 17, 2021 at Doe’s Used Car Lot in Jennings, Missouri.

After Doe learned that his insurance company would not cover the damage, Boyd suggested falsely claiming that three of the damaged vehicles belonged to his used car company, The Best Place Auto Sales on Dr. Martin Luther. King Drive in St. Louis, according to the indictment. .

Boyd completed the Missouri Department of Revenue bill of sale and certificate of title forms for the three vehicles, fraudulently backdating the dates of sale to January 2 and falsely claiming that Boyd’s company had paid $22,000 for the vehicles, according to the indictment. Boyd also incorrectly claimed a $50 per vehicle per day storage fee from Boyd’s insurance company for damaged vehicles. Boyd’s insurance company ultimately denied the claim.

If convicted on the main indictment, Reed and Boyd’s charges carry maximum sentences of 10 years and five years in prison, respectively, and a $250,000 fine. Collins-Muhammad’s honest services bribery/wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. One of his corruption charges carries a maximum of 10 years and the other a maximum of five years. Boyd’s additional wire fraud charges related to the auto insurance plan carry maximum penalties of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Return is also mandatory. In determining actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the US Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith is prosecuting the case.

The counts in the indictment are charges only and the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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