Meffert, Wife, St Pierre Indicted

Nov 6, 2009 by

I hate to bump ya Dingler, but I just gotta!

The US Attorney’s Office today indicted Greg and Linda Meffert and Mark St Pierre on 63 counts of Federal Corruption.

The US Attorney’s Office today indicted Greg and Linda Meffert and Mark St Pierre on 63 counts of Federal Corruption.

I know I repeated that line but it just feels so good to type it!

While the charges against Greg Meffert and St Pierre have been expected for some time, Linda Mefferts’ indictment caught many by surprise. She faces charges of lying to a Federal Agent regarding some $38,000 she received from St Pierre’s NetMethods firm. She claims it was from $90/hr accounting fees from 2004 but clearly it was not.

As soon as I can get a copy of the indictment I’ll post it here but remember, an indictment is not proof of guilt. Meffert, his wife and St Pierre are innocent until proven guilty.

Have a Great Day!

UPDATE: Kathy English of the US Attorney EDL office just e-mailed me the press release:

United States Attorney Jim Letten
Eastern District of Louisiana



NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – GREGORY MEFFERT, age 44, a resident of New Orleans, LINDA MEFFERT age 42, a resident of New Orleans and the wife of defendant GREGORY MEFFERT, and MARK ST. PIERRE, age 46, a resident of Belle Chasse and local business owner, were charged in a 63 count indictment with conspiracy, wire fraud, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, money laundering, false statements, and filing false tax returns, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten, FBI Special Agent in Charge David Welker, and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Michael J. De Palma.

According to today’s federal grand jury indictment, between 2002 and the present, GREGORY MEFFERT, former Chief Technology Officer and Executive Assistant to the Mayor of New Orleans, along with MEFFERT’S wifeLINDA, and technology businessman MARK ST. PIERRE, (Imagine Software, NetMethods, Method Investments, and Veracent) all participated in a conspiracy to use MEFFERT’S position with the City to manipulate the procurement process for technology services to provide millions of dollars in city business funds to ST. PIERRE and his companies who illegally made payoffs or kickbacks to GREGORY MEFFERT and his wife LINDA.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that GREGORY MEFFERT changed city procedures in order to ensure that ST. PIERRE’S companies would receive city business without participating in a competitive bid process; also ensuring that prime contractors served only as a conduit for work directed by MEFFERT to ST. PIERRE. Part of the scheme was that MEFFERT failed to disclose MEFFERT’S conflict of interest and payments and benefits from ST. PIERRE to him and his wife.

According to the indictment, ST. PIERRE paid over $860, 000 in funds, credit card purchases, and membership dues to and for the benefit of GREGORY and LINDA MEFFERT between 2004 and 2007.

Additionally, according to the indictment, MEFFERT approved and facilitated payments to ST. PIERRE’S companies, through a prime contractor of approximately $4 million between 2004 and 2006, and in or about July 2006, directed the order and purchase of “crime cameras” for the City of New Orleans through a no-bid process, which permitted ST. PIERRE to purchase cameras from an out-of-state manufacturer and resell them to Dell, Inc., which re-sold them to the City for ST. PIERRE to install.

Counts 2 and 3 charge ST. PIERRE (2) and GREGORY and LINDA MEFFERT (3) with a $38, 000 Bribery.

Twenty-four counts of Honest Services Wire Fraud (Counts 4 – 27) charge GREGORY MEFFERT, LINDA MEFFERT and MARK ST. PIERRE with approximately $130, 000 in ST. PIERRE monthly credit card kickback payments to the MEFFERTS.

The bribery counts (Counts 28 – 43) charge ST. PIERRE with approximately $647, 000 in kickback payments and benefits to GREGORY and LINDA MEFFERT.

Sixteen counts of Bribery (Counts 44 – 59) charge GREGORY and LINDA MEFFERT with receiving approximately $647, 000 in kickback payments and benefits from ST. PIERRE.

Count 60 charges all three defendants with conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the scheme.

Count 61 charges GREGORY and LINDA MEFFERT with filing false tax returns for 2006 and Count 62 charges GREGORYandLINDA MEFFERT with filing false tax returns for 2007.

Count 63 charges charges GREGORY and LINDA MEFFERT with lying to an FBI Special Agents by falsely claiming that LINDA MEFFERT worked for ST. PIERRE in 2004.

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Welker added:
“We are here for the seventh time in as many weeks to announce the indictment of a public official, the former Chief Technology Officer of the City of New Orleans, for lining their own pockets at the expense of the citizens of this area. This must be a clear message of the continued commitment of the FBI and its law enforcement partners to root out corruption at all levels to ensure an unobstructed path for recovery for this city and region.”

Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation stated
“We are pleased with today’s indictments. It is the goal of IRS Criminal Investigation to work with the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office to ensure that those who believe themselves above the law are brought to justice. Special Agents of IRS Criminal Investigation are highly skilled investigators who will work tirelessly to stop those individuals who scheme and conspire with each other to benefit themselves to the detriment of other citizens and their government.”

Speaking to today’s indictment, U. S. Attorney Jim Letten stated:
“Once again, we in the U. S. Department of Justice and our partners continue to demonstrate our commitment to strike at the heart of the corruption which has plagued and sometimes severely impaired our public institutions. Stated simply, we will not tolerate self-dealing among those who are entrusted with providing products, services, or support to our public institutions. Today’s indictment, as with the previous charges brought forward against other individuals in our ongoing corruption efforts, is continuing evidence of that very commitment which will continue. We will stay the course we have set in creating and maintaining a very hostile environment for any public officials or individuals who would breach the public trust and prey upon our citizens for illegal profit.

I would also like to extend my appreciation to the New Orleans Inspector General’s Office and Inspectors William Bonney and Edward Hernandez for their work; and the Metropolitan Crime Commission for the information they have provided in this investigation.”

U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that today’s indictment is a charge and that the guilt of each defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Matthew M. Coman and Richard R. Pickens.


Analysis of charges:

All counts carry a $250,000 fine except counts 61 and 62 which carry a $100,000 fine. All counts call for restitution and three-year supervised release if a guilty verdict is found and jail time is applied. Maximum jail time is listed under each count.

Count 1: Conspiracy to defraud citizen’s of honest services and engage in public bribery. GM, LM, MSP – 5 years.

Count 2: Bribery concerning programs receiving Federal Funds – approx. $38,000 to Greg and Linda Meffert. MSP – 10 years.

Count 3: Bribery concerning programs receiving Federal Funds – approx. $38,000 from Mark St Pierre. GM, LM – 10 years.

Count 4-27: Wire Fraud – approx. $548,935 in payoffs/kickback. GM, LM, MSP – 20 years.

Count 28-43: Bribery concerning programs receiving Federal Funds – approx. $647,426 to Greg and Linda Meffert. MSP – 10 years.

Count 44-59: Bribery concerning programs receiving Federal Funds – approx. $647,426 from Mark St Pierre. GM, LM – 10 years.

Count 60: Money Laundering Conspiracy. GM, LM, MSP – 10 years.

Count 61: Filing False Tax Returns – 2006 – Failure to report approx. $53,399. GM, LM – 3 years.

Count 62: Filing False Tax Returns – 2007 – Failure to report approx. $65,118. GM, LM – 3 years.

Count 63: False Statements to a Federal Agent. GM, LM – 5 years.

Now what this all means is a world of hurt for St Pierre and the Mefferts. Most probably any jail time would run concurrently which means the most serious charges would be the yardstick for time served. These are counts 4-27 which carry a 20-year sentence meaning that if found guilty the three would most likely serve about 16 years total followed by concurrent 3-year supervised releases. But what will happen is never as fun or headline grabbing as the overall totals, so without further ado, I give you the Yellow Journalist sum of the jail time: If convicted on all counts Meffert and his wife face a total of 676 years in jail. St Pierre faces just 665 years. All three face 189 years of supervised release.

As I said before, any guilty verdict will most likely result in concurrent sentences for the three defendants, as is usual in cases like these, but I wonder if the False Statements and Tax Evasion charges might factor in seperately for the Mefferts. If so it would add 11 years to each term meaning they might end up spending the better part of 24 years in jail compared to St Pierre’s possible 16.

But this isn’t just about the jail time. The 27 page indictment is seeking restitution of $1,765,791 from the three defendants under Fraud & Money Laundering Forfeiture. According to Title 18, US Code sections 1956(h) and 982, any assets or property deemed to be linked to the counts can and will be forfeit by the defendants. If such assets cannot be located, have been sold or transferred, placed outside US jurisdiction, or combined with other defendant assets, the court can seize other defendant assets or properties equal to the value of the forfeiture. This means that if the defendants have hidden away their ill-gotten booty they can lose everything else they own until that 1.7 million is paid up.

In addition to the forfeiture, the fines for each count total a small fortune. Both Meffert and his wife each face fines totalling 11.2 million dollars while St Pierre is looking at fines of 10.75 million dollars. That’s $33,150,000 in fines, kids.

It’s still way early in this horse race kids and all this speculation is fun but purely hypothetical. As I stated before, and I wish to stress, the Mefferts and St Pierre are innocent until proven guilty. There is a long road ahead and for those of us who have followed this case over the years it promises to be an exciting trip. Until the trial actually starts, let’s all just sit back and enjoy the Saints this weekend.

M Styborski

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