City of Kenner Former Director of Inspection and Code Enforcement Pleads Guilty to Using an Interstate Facility with Intent to Carry on Unlawful Activity and Tax Fraud

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that JAMES MOHAMAD, 52, of Kenner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to use an interstate facility with intent to carry on unlawful activity (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1952(a)(3)) and filing false tax returns (Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1)).

According to Court documents, MOHAMAD, the former Director of the Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement for the City of Kenner, paid bribe money to Brian Medus, the Assistant Chief Mechanical Inspector for the City of New Orleans, Safety and Permits Department, in return for the issuance of fraudulent permits for MOHAMAD’s HVAC jobs. Throughout the course of the conspiracy, MOHAMAD paid Medus and others approximately $93,000 to further the bribery scheme.  Additionally, MOHAMAD filed false individual tax returns which omitted substantial amounts of income resulting in an understated amount of income tax due.

As to the conspiracy charge, MOHAMAD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.   As to the tax fraud, MOHAMAD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three (3) years, a fine of up to $250,000, up to one year of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a mandatory $100 special assessment fee.  MOHAMAD will be sentenced on July 13, 2022.

A co-defendant, Brian Medus, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and is scheduled for sentencing on May 18, 2022.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, and the City of New Orleans/Office of Inspector General.  Assistance was also provided by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Assistant United States Attorney Tracey N. Knight is prosecuting the matter.