James Gill on the Latest Perdigao Developments

I’ve been reading James Gill since the 1980’s – I thought he was old then and now we’re both old.  😉 He too has been following the Jamie Perdigao saga and is no doubt hearing the same rumors we are that guilty pleas are coming tomorrow. As Mr Gill points out Federal prosecutors now have Jamie Perdigao by the balls.  In the meantime there is another very interested party as Mr Gill points out – Edwin Edwards:

A few months ago both former Gov. Dave Treen and Jamie Perdigao seemed to offer Edwin Edwards hope of an early release.

Perhaps it will still happen, but Edwards cannot be encouraged by recent events.

It is not easy for a defendant, out on a $2 million bond while awaiting trial for a string of big-time felonies, to find a way to diminish his reputation further. But Perdigao has pulled it off, and now sits in the jug.

Treen has been attempting to use the stroke he enjoys as the elder statesman of the GOP in Louisiana to secure a pardon for Edwards. That did not win Treen many new friends in his party, since plenty of Republicans are against helping Democrats, even honest ones………

Edwards’ only hope is nevertheless that President Bush will agree with Treen that the 10-year sentence was excessive. Edwards is 81 and has already been inside for six years. His supporters think it would be futile and vindictive to make him do the full stretch, or come as close as the Fates allow……….

Perdigao, meanwhile, has alleged that prosecutors withheld evidence that might have helped Edwards fight the rap, but it always was a stretch to imagine he could have beaten it. There was overwhelming evidence that Edwards and his cronies shook down applicants for riverboat gambling licenses; FBI tapes caught them counting loot and discussing how to launder it.

Even before his bail was revoked, Perdigao’s credibility was close to zero, although he certainly had an insider’s vantage point as the feds moved in on Edwards. As a partner in the law firm Adams and Reese, Perdigao numbered Bobby Guidry among the clients of his civil practice.

Guidry, who owned the Treasure Chest in Kenner, copped a plea and became a star witness at the Edwards trial. He wound up doing a brief stint in a halfway house and was allowed to keep almost all the millions he made while paying off the Edwards gang.

Adams and Reese fired Perdigao in 2004 after discovering that $30 million had gone missing. Perdigao paid the money back but when plea negotiations broke down, he filed a civil suit against his former employers and asked the judge to recuse the local U.S. attorney’s office from his case.

One of Perdigao’s many allegations was that Guidry had bribed his way to a soft sentence, but he evidently offered no proof, and his recusal motion was summarily rejected. He will be tried on 59 counts in December.

It seemed that Perdigao had hit rock bottom, but then he was arrested Oct. 15 and booked with hacking into the Adams and Reese computer system twice during the previous week. His first attempt to gain access failed because he used his own name and his old, no-longer-valid password, according to the federal complaint. So he used another lawyer’s from the same computer.

At a hearing Monday, an FBI agent testified that Perdigao has continued accessing the Adams and Reese system ever since he was fired in 2004. Given that Perdigao appears to be a somewhat amateurish hacker, it is amazing he got away with it so long.

But that was not Perdigao’s only alleged offense while he was out on bail. The agent also revealed that Perdigao had failed to mention that he had been arrested for shoplifting in Covington a few months ago.

How are the mighty fallen. The alleged multimillion-dollar embezzler of yesteryear would have regarded stealing from the shelves of Wal-Mart as too declassé for words.

The future does not look too bright for Perdigao, and won’t be too bright for his parents either if federal prosecutors get their way.

Prosecutors want Perdigao’s bond, which is guaranteed by his parents’ home, to be forfeit.

That seems a trifle mean, considering that Perdigao’s alleged crimes do not include taking it on the lam. How bright the future looks for Edwards is a question that must wait until Bush is heading for the exit.

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