Former La. official pleads guilty to racketeering
BATON ROUGE, La. (Legal Newsline) - U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced July 16 that a former Louisiana deputy insurance commissioner has pleaded guilty to racketeering.
Richard L. Chambers, Sr., age 67 of LaPlace, La., pled guilty in federal court to using an interstate facility in aid of racketeering. He faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release following imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and forfeiture of all proceeds from the offense.
Chambers admitted that while he was Deputy Commissioner for the Louisiana Department of Insurance, he took bribes in exchange for using his official position to steer insurance business and support a conceptual trash can cleaning concept known as the Cifer 5000.
He would use his official position to steer insurance business from municipalities and other sources to a licensed insurance agent in exchange for bribes. Unbeknownst to him the insurance agent he enlisted was an undercover FBI Special Agent.
He arranged to take bribes from the insurance agent consisting of 40 percent of the commissions earned on business. Chambers admitted that he received a $2,000 cash bribe on July 21, 2009, a $3,000 cash bribe on Oct. 16, 2009, and a $500 cash bribe on March 10, 2010.
He also admitted to extorting bribes from an individual he believed to be a venture capitalist affiliated with the insurance agent and involved with a conceptual trash can cleaning product known as the "Cifer 5000," an automated waste container cleaning system using specially designed and equipped trucks to clean and sanitize commercial and residential waste containers. Its potential customer pool was represented to be governmental entities.
But like with the insurance corruption the venture capitalist was an undercover FBI agent. The Cifer 5000 was a fictitious product created by the FBI.
Chambers admitted that, in May 2009, he agreed to provide an official letter of support for the Cifer 5000 in exchange for two cash payments totaling $5,000. He told the venture capitalist the letter would be used to generate significant private investor funding for the Cifer 5000.