22 thoughts on “Saturday Music: Dedicated to the propagandist over at the West Bank Beacon”

  1. I don’t know if y’all have been catching it but this is the latest on the Pravda/Izvestia front:

    Here’s Walt Bennetti:

    http://thehayride.com/2011/06/in-kenner-mayor-mike-yenni-cant-seem-to-get-it-right/

    here’s the story from the TP:

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/yenni_responds_in_writing_to_h.html

    Which has this:

    “Council President Kent Denapolis did keep the speakers at Thursday’s meeting to three minutes each but said he was upset by the column. He said the city pays about $30,000 to the Kenner Star every year and that entitles the residents to respond to Yenni in writing.

    “It’s only fair because you don’t have the ability to put $30,000 towards it like he did.”

    The city does spend about $30,000 to advertise in the Kenner Star, said Mike Quigley, Yenni’s chief administrative officer, but doesn’t pay for Yenni’s column.”

    And that was all precipitated by this:

    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/05/kenner_residents_angry_at_lead.html

    So as everyone knows the Kenner Star is owned by Troy Broussard, Aaaron Broussard’s son.

    But the paper also features, besides Troy Broussard:

    Allan Katz, brother of Hippo Katz, confidante and advisor to Aaaron Broussard,a member of the infamous Lagniappe shenanigans.
    Mike Yenni

  2. One other name:

    Candy Lovitt, managing editor & marketing director, is the wife of RANDY D. LOVITT – former President and CEO, First Bank and Trust (some time in 1996 or 1998 or late `90’s).

    5.3.98 TP reported: “Aaron Broussard has been named chairman of the Kenner Advisory Board for First Bank and Trust’s new Kenner Branch. Randy Lovitt is vice chairman.”

  3. Another thought:

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:BsnBF3UaCZsJ:www.kennerstar.com/Back%2520Issues/2011/2011JunKS.pdf+kenner+star+june+2011&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    Looking at the masthead here…

    Lovitt, Zeringue and Drake all appear related, that is by family.

    George L. Drake III was a 22 year employee of the JP school system. Melissa Drake (Melissa Zeringue Drake) is George L. Drake III’s wife, Randy Lovitt’s wife, Candy (Zeringue) Lovitt is George L. Drake III’s sister-in-law; Monica Zeringue is his sister-in-law; Dan Dormandy is his brother-in-law.

    http://files.usgwarchives.org/la/orleans/obits/1/d-15.txt

    “He was also a writer for the Times-Picayune Newspaper. Mr. Drake was a graduate of East Jefferson High School and LSU, where he earned a B.S. degree in Biology and an M.S. degree in Education Administration and Supervision. He was named Jefferson Parish Teacher of the Year at East Jefferson High School. He was employed with the Jefferson Parish Public School system for 22 years.”

    Randy Lovitt is the son of the founder of Bunny Bread in Metairie:

    http://files.usgwarchives.net/la/orleans/obits/2007/2007-11.txt

    Pure speculation but… There is no way that the Star is not somehow partly owned by Lovitt & Family, and given his involvement maybe Katz as well.

  4. Ha, ok, so who’s The Drake?

    And the Drakettes.

    I kind of thought there might be a Bunny bread joke in there but I’ll take Seinfeld.

    And maybe the ownership of the Drakes/Lovitt & Katz is a leap, but, again, doubt they’re doing it for free and the Broussard krewe does like their side agreements, counter letter arrangements, dummy officers and hidden shares…

  5. Ha. See if this sounds familiar (Katz makes an appearance working for the GNOL landfill, and later worked for Robert Guidry) (more on Katz next post):

    4.10.99 TP:

    “LETTER FOR DUMP WASN’T A CONFLICT, LAWMAKER SAYS – ABITA’S STRAIN WON JOB AT GNOL

    Less than a year after writing a letter on his legislative stationery to lobby for extending the life of the controversial Greater New Orleans Landfill , state Rep. Bill Strain won a construction contract with the dump that has paid his company more than $3.4 million, state records show.

    Strain, D-Abita Springs, says he has done nothing wrong because he won the GNOL contract through a legitimate private bidding process that took place after his letter supporting the extension. He said he was among more than a dozen elected officials from cities and parishes using GNOL who sent letters on behalf of the landfill .

    “When I wrote that letter, it wasn’t nothing to do about me getting that job over there,” Strain said.

    Strain has been criticized in the past by political opponents and watchdog groups because records show that he made an additional $1.6 million in the past 10 years contracting with state and local government agencies.

    Strain, who is a candidate in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, sent letters in 1994 and 1995 on his House stationery to then-Gov. Edwin Edwards and to William Mollere, head of the Department of Environmental Quality solid waste division, urging that GNOL be allowed to remain open despite environmental concerns.

    Strain said in the letters that GNOL was important to his constituents because Browning Ferris Industries had a contract with the landfill to dump garbage from west St. Tammany Parish there. But GNOL spokesman Allan Katz said this week that the landfill was not taking any St. Tammany garbage at the time. And a BFI spokesman said the company never had a contract to dump garbage at GNOL.

    “I didn’t follow up and do an in-depth study,” Strain said. “If I made a mistake, I apologize. Evidently somebody had told me BFI was taking it to Greater New Orleans in a conversation somewhere.”

    GNOL was scheduled to be closed in 1995 because it did not meet new federal regulations requiring synthetic liners and plumbing systems to collect leachate, a milky toxic substance formed when rainwater mixes with household garbage, old batteries, rotting food and other waste.

    State officials granted the extension in August 1995 over protests from environmental groups and nearby residents, who worried that the landfill would pollute groundwater and cause health problems.

    Representatives of the landfill ‘s owner, Joseph Marcello, had argued for the extension, saying the company needed more time to generate money to close the landfill properly and to collect enough waste to build drainage contours.

    Two months after the extension, Strain’s company, Stranco, was awarded a contract by GNOL to build a drainage system and levees, as well as apply a layer of vegetation and clay to closed portions of the landfill .

    Strain, who said he is the sole owner of Stranco, said he did nothing wrong. “It don’t amount to nothing,” Strain said. “We wrote letters asking them to take a look at it; anybody would do that.”

    GNOL President Manny Fernandez said Stranco submitted the lowest of five bids for the contract and that the company was not prohibited by state ethics laws from taking the job. The bids are not public record because GNOL is a private company.

    Strain said he could not remember details about the bidding and referred questions to Fernandez, who is an attorney for Strain and GNOL.

    “It went through the bidding process; how could he have rigged that?” Fernandez said.

    The landfill ‘s operations have been the subject of scrutiny by federal investigators and of repeated, unsuccessful attempts by Jefferson Parish to bar more waste from being dumped there.

    In 1997, FBI agents copied thousands of documents at DEQ headquarters related to the landfill and turned over the records to a federal grand jury in New Orleans. The FBI also subpoenaed Strain’s records concerning the landfill and gave the documents to the grand jury, according to courtroom statements by Strain’s attorney Bill Marshall during a 1997 civil hearing on Jefferson Parish’s attempts to shut down GNOL.

    No indictments have been issued and there’s no indication that Strain was a target of the probe. Fernandez said he’s unaware of any recent activity related to the investigation.

    In the meantime, Strain stands to make more profits from his business associations with the landfill .

    In January, a new Strain company, Stranco Environmental, applied for state permission to open a construction debris landfill on a 34-acre wedge of land next to GNOL. About two thirds of the property is owned by Marsh Investments, a company in which Marcello owns shares.

    Fernandez said Marsh has an agreement to sign a lease with Stranco Environmental if a state permit is granted.

    Strain also is linked to the landfill through his trucking operations. He recently began hauling garbage to GNOL after buying a waste transfer station in St. Tammany Parish, where garbage from small residential collection trucks is loaded onto larger trucks and sent to landfills . Strain said the agreement to dump garbage at GNOL was signed late last year, several months before his January purchase of the transfer station from Resource Technologists Inc. He said he plans to stop taking waste to GNOL as soon as dumping space becomes available at Central Landfill in Mississippi.

    Strain, 58, has been in the House since 1971 and is the second-longest serving member.

    Strain’s financial disclosure reports show that he has made $1.6 million in government contracts since 1989. The contracts were signed with a variety of state and local agencies, including deals with the Police Jury and School Board in St. Tammany Parish, the Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission, the Department of Environmental Quality, and the Department of Transportation and Development. All of the contracts were publicly bid or granted on an emergency basis, according to Strain’s disclosure statements.

    The largest payments were made in 1992 when Stranco was paid more than $938,000 by the state Department of Transportation and Development to build bridges. Strain was a member of the House Transportation Committee, which oversees the agency, from 1980 to 1992. He was chairman of the committee from 1980 to 1988.

    “I don’t get no preferential treatment from being a representative,” Strain said in 1993. He declined this week to discuss state contracts.

    Strain has opposed attempts to prevent lawmakers from signing contracts with the state. In 1993, he voted against a proposed bill that would have banned legislators from getting state contracts. The measure, which was supported by government watchdog groups, was defeated.

    “If you’re a member of the Legislature and you do business with the state, you would have a tremendous advantage through knowledge and through relationships with the state agencies,” said Jim Brandt, who is leaving his post as director of the Bureau of Governmental Research to become head of the Public Affairs Research Council. “It hearkens back to the insider dealings in politics and we had hoped those days were over.”

    But Strain shrugs off the criticism.

    “I don’t see nothing wrong; business and politics are two different things to me,” Strain said. “I don’t let my business get involved with my politics.” “

  6. In 1995 (2.9.95 TP) and into 1999, at least, Allan Katz was a spokesman for GNOL landfill (and by extension its managing company (Marcello run?) Southern Recovery Management. In 2002 (2.3.02 TP, James Gill) Heebe & Pals are claiming that the drive against Heebe re: accusations of spousal abuse were being driven by Robert Guidry and his PR firm and rep Allan Katz (and Danae Columbus). Gill goes on to point out that GNOL had been replaced by River Birch: “Guidry has hired a PR firm owned by Allan Katz and Danae Columbus to minimize fall-out from the fracas with Copeland. Columbus also organized and ran the press conference from which Mosca was excluded Thursday. She says she is representing Easterling and Herbert for nothing, having been in an “abusive relationship” herself. Maybe so, and no doubt she and Katz have other, lucrative accounts. But one they don’t have anymore is the Greater New Orleans Landfill , which Jefferson Parish closed down in 1997. It was replaced by the River Birch Landfill, owned by Fred Heebe and Jim Ward.”

    In 1988 [12.16.88 TP] Katz is on the Omni Noard of Directors: “The Omni Bank Group, a new banking firm, took over the deposits and most of the assets of Crescent City Bank and Trust Co. of New Orleans, which failed Thursday because of real estate loans gone bad. … The board of directors of Omni are James J. Bryan Jr., owner of Bryan Chevrolet; Marvin Cavallino, a dentist; J. Kendrick Hollis Jr., an insurance executive; Hudson; Allan Katz , an attorney; Bart LaRocca, an insurance executive; Bernard Louviere Jr., owner of Creole Engineering; Robert Miller, a surgeon; Rick Perez, a builder; William H. Shane, a developer; Steve Simone, an attorney; Edgar E. Walker, owner of Walker Roemer Dairies; and Jean Rhodes, businesswoman and owner of Rhodes Refrigeration.”

    But, now, +this+ I think is unbef___ing`lievable (an attorney who is on the board of directors for Omni just starts writing for the TP??? Maybe this name is just too common and it’s someone else, but the articles are mostly of a savvy, inside baseball, politics sort so it sounds like it could be Katz]]: Allan Katz used to write for the Times Picayune. He turns up in about 110 articles as “Allan Katz Staff Writer” for the TP Jan. `89 to Oct. `89. In an article he wrote in the 9.10.89 TP Katz described Harahan’s cancellation of its garbage contract with Jefferson Dispoal Co. For whatever reason Katz’s last article for the TP was just about a month later. By July 1990 he is working as a “political analyst.” By 2.16.93 he is the spokesman for something called “the Committee for 25,000 Jobs”, basically a front group for Gov. Edwin Edwards and Harry Lee’s pustch for casinos and the wonderful world of gambling (there go our nmoney troubles!). 9.16.93 Katz is working for Boomtown Casino in its push to get its boat an exemption on the west bank, which it gets ultimately against the wishes of the Wards.

  7. About the Gaming Services references, that 9.16.93 TP article stated, “… By a 6-1 vote, the council approved a resolution introduced by Councilman Donald Jones to exempt his 3rd District from a moratorium on gambling boat development in unincorporated Jefferson. Louisiana Gaming Enterprises Inc. is eyeing the abandoned Avondale shipyard in the lower end of the Harvey Canal. While the site is in an unpopulated area of Jones’ district, Ward said it would cause major traffic problems for subdivisions in his adjacent 1st District. By the same vote, the council approved a second Jones resolution supporting the company for choosing Jefferson as its base. Ward has successfully blocked the company – owned by Reno, Nev., casino operator Boomtown Inc. – from developing a seven-acre site along the upper end of the Harvey Canal in his district.

    … The next state Riverboat Gaming Commission meeting is Sept. 24. Boomtown representative Robert List – a former Nevada governor and company vice president – and other company officials are expected to attend and possibly ask the commission to approve a new site for the Boomtown boat.

    Boomtown spokesman Allan Katz said Wednesday that the company has yet to make a decision on where it will locate. … “

  8. Turns out Maurice “Hippo” Katz was married to a Judy Block.

    Here’s betting she was related to Russell Block, whom Aaaron Broussard dubbed “the Mayor of Rivertown.” Rivertown was built around his property at 303 Williams (where K-TV (Channel 76)) broadcasts from now. Block went back with Sheriff “King” Clancy (a guy with well known mob connections back in the day), having card games at his store at 303 Williams and being genereally referred to (as reported un-PC’like by the TP) as being part of an “Israeli Mafia.” (I dropped a post on that somehere on here…).

  9. Turtle, that leads to a lot. Some of it might be in that linke Slabbed post I left above starting with Serpas, Saacks & LJ Canal (check that out given the below re: JPSO), but…

    Operation Hardcrust, revisited:

    10.13.96 BR Advocate:

    “Book closes on mob try to infiltrate Louisiana gambling

    It seems ironically fitting that Steve Bolson was the first to be convicted and Chris Tanfield was the last to be sentenced in an organized-crime plot to permeate Louisiana’s video poker industry and funnel profits to the mob.

    Bolson and Tanfield co-founded the now-defunct, mob-controlled companies known as Worldwide Gaming of Louisiana and subsidiary Louisiana Route Operators, and they ran the day-to-day operations of both companies.

    In all, 25 men were convicted and sentenced between June 1994 and last month for their roles in the profit-skimming scheme that began in the fall of 1991 and continued until May 1994 when a federal grand jury in New Orleans indicted Bolson, Tanfield and 15 other men.

    Bolson, a former New Jersey deputy attorney general and ex-executive with Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, was president of Worldwide and LRO. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conducting an illegal gambling business, and began serving a 21-month sentence earlier this month.

    Tanfield, a former rock concert promoter and self-professed associate of the reputed Genovese organized-crime family of New York, was vice president of both companies. Now in the federal witness protection program, he pleaded guilty to racketeering and will begin serving an 18-month sentence Oct. 18.

    Federal prosecutors say the scheme to infiltrate Louisiana’s video poker industry was the brainchild of New York’s powerful Gambino organized-crime family and the Genovese family. The reputed Marcello organized-crime family of New Orleans was a partner-in-crime of the Gambino and Genovese families, according to prosecutors.

    “This was a New York-driven operation,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Salvador Perricone, one of three Worldwide/LRO prosecutors and a member of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s organized-crime strike force unit in New Orleans.

    “This was truly a classic partnership between the upper echelon of the New Orleans mob and an active captain of the Gambino family, as well as an associate of the Genovese family,” added First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, the lead Worldwide/LRO prosecutor and the strike force’s former chief.

    Likewise, he said, the Worldwide/LRO probe was a partnership between the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans and the Louisiana State Police.

    Letten said the upper echelon of the Marcello family included alleged “boss” Anthony Carollo of Slidell; alleged “underboss” Frank Gagliano Sr. of Metairie; Sebastian “Buster” Salvatore of Metairie; Joseph Marcello Jr. of New Orleans, brother of the late reputed crime lord Carlos Marcello; and Joseph Gagliano of Kenner, son of Frank Gagliano Sr.

    All five men were convicted in the case and sent to prison.

    The alleged Gambino captain to whom Letten referred is Joseph Corozzo of New York City, and the alleged Genovese associate is Eugene Gilpin of New York City. They, too, were convicted and given prison terms.

    This was the crime families’ financial arrangement: The New York families would split 40 percent of the profits, another 40 percent would go to the Marcello family, and the remaining 20 percent was reserved for Bolson and Tanfield, prosecutors said.

    Perricone said the New York families recruited Bolson – a Tulane University alumnus – because his credentials would “lend legitimacy” to the operation. Tanfield reported directly to Gilpin, he said.

    Together, Bolson, Tanfield and former New Orleans furniture store executive Aaron Mintz fooled state regulators into giving Worldwide a license to distribute video poker machines and LRO a license to own and operate video poker machines. Worldwide and LRO received those licenses in May 1992.

    Federal prosecutors say Bolson and Tanfield hand-picked Mintz – a long-time friend of then-Gov. Edwin Edwards – to front as the companies’ majority stockholder because neither Bolson nor Tanfield, who was living in Florida at the time, met Louisiana residency requirements to hold video poker licenses.

    Bolson, Tanfield and Mintz viewed the state gambling licenses as licenses to steal, prosecutors said, and they did just that.

    In July 1992, the trio duped Bally Gaming Inc. of Las Vegas into naming Worldwide as the exclusive Louisiana distributor of Bally video poker machines. Louisiana law prohibited Bally from distributing its own machines.

    The first video poker machines did not go on-line in Louisiana until July 1992.

    Bally ultimately loaned Worldwide $3.5 million in cash and roughly $16 million worth of video poker machines.

    Worldwide had hoped to sell 8,000 Bally machines in Louisiana, but only 2,100 Bally machines were in operation in the state when Worldwide collapsed.

    Still, those machines took in more than $67 million between July 1, 1992, and May 31, 1993, when Worldwide filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

    Prosecutors said they believe the organized-crime scheme netted some $16 million in illegal profits.

    Letten said he believes the financial gain would have been “astronomical,” and the damage much worse – not only to the video poker industry but to the state’s entire gambling industry and related businesses – had federal authorities not stopped the scheme when they did.

    “Had this venture been successful, it’s only a matter of our wildest speculation how bad the mob influence would have been in this town,” Letten said. “This would have thoroughly become, within five years, a mobbed-up town.”

    Rafael Goyeneche, head of the private watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission of New Orleans, agrees.

    “The FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are owed a debt of gratitude by not only the city of New Orleans but also the entire state,” he said, adding that organized crime’s “tentacles” would have wrapped themselves around Louisiana’s entire gambling industry if the video poker scheme had gone undetected.

    Fortunately, authorities had what amounted to a front-row seat in the Crescent City from where they were able to hear and watch much of the mob scheme unfold from inception.

    That seat was inside Frank’s Restaurant, a French Quarter eatery owned and operated by Frank Gagliano Sr. Prosecutors say the deli was the headquarters of the Marcello family.

    With federal court authorization, FBI agents were able to bug the deli’s telephones and install hidden cameras and microphones inside the Decatur Street business.

    After agents complained about how stale the French bread was at the deli, Steven Irwin, assistant U.S. attorney and Worldwide/LRO prosecutor, said he decided to dub the federal probe ” Operation Hardcrust .” The code name stuck.

    But it wasn’t video poker that led authorities to Frank’s Restaurant or to Gagliano. It was illegal sports betting, and Gagliano’s sons.

    During an FBI probe into sports bookmaking in Jefferson Parish in early 1992, a probe that involved two of Gagliano’s sons, agents were tipped off to the video poker profit-skimming scheme and to Frank’s Restaurant.

    Letten said the new information – obtained from FBI wiretaps on the bookies’ phones – gave authorities a “rare and wonderful opportunity.”

    The bugged phones and hidden cameras and microphones at Frank’s Restaurant gave authorities a “picture window into the internal resurgence of a previously dormant organized-crime family,” the prosecutor said.

    “We watched the whole thing happen.”

    For instance, the indictment says:

    FBI agents were watching on Aug. 12, 1992, when Carollo, Frank and Joseph Gagliano, and Mintz met at the Meridien Hotel on Canal Street with Corozzo, alleged Gambino “soldier” John Gammarano, and Gammarano’s one-time lawyer Paul Morabito.

    Agents were watching the following day, too, when Carollo, Frank and Joseph Gagliano, Corozzo and Gammarano met at Frank’s Restaurant.

    Agents were listening on Sept. 10, 1992, when Carollo, Frank and Joseph Gagliano, and Joseph Marcello met at the deli and discussed the control and operation of Worldwide and LRO.

    During that meeting, the grand jury said, the four men talked about Corozzo running the Worldwide/LRO “operation” and complained about him “dragging his feet.”

    Letten said the reference to foot-dragging underscored a philosophical difference between the New York and New Orleans organized-crime families: The New York mobsters wanted to let the business grow before siphoning money out of it, but the New Orleans mobsters wanted their take yesterday.

    “The local mobsters were like kids in a candy store,” Letten said, adding that “too much greed too fast” on the part of the Marcello family “killed the goose that could have laid the golden egg.”

    “They killed the goose. They strangled it,” he said.

    FBI agents were listening on Sept. 17, 1992, when Carollo, Frank and Joseph Gagliano, and Joseph Marcello met at the deli and discussed $2,000-a-week payments – what the mob called “tribute” or “juice”- to the Marcello family from Worldwide and LRO.

    Agents were listening again on Sept. 23, 1992, when Carollo, Frank and Joseph Gagliano, Gammarano and Gilpin met at the deli to discuss Worldwide/LRO matters, including Carollo’s complaints that he wanted to receive pay-offs now and not later.

    There was even discussion concerning the possible sale of Worldwide if the company did not become more profitable.

    Agents were watching on Nov. 16, 1992, when Carollo, Frank and Joseph Gagliano, Joseph Marcello, Corozzo, Gammarano and Gilpin met at a LaQuinta Hotel in eastern New Orleans to confront Bolson and Tanfield about the pair’s alleged independent embezzlement of money from Worldwide and LRO.

    Irwin said that in December 1992 agents temporarily lost their telephone wiretap at Worldwide’s headquarters in Metairie after Worldwide failed to pay its telephone bill and the line was disconnected.

    The line was reconnected in January 1993, Irwin said, and agents resumed listening to the company’s incoming and outgoing calls. ”

    ******

    Now somehow, a JPSO gets involevd and look where:

    6.18.97 TP:

    “EX-COP FACES CHARGE OVER WITNESS – U.S. CASE LINKED TO POKER PROBE

    Bobbie Ragsdale Sr., a former chief criminal deputy in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, was charged Tuesday with trying to tamper with a witness in a federal investigation of Mafia influence in the Louisiana video poker industry.

    Ragsdale stands accused of trying to get a Jefferson Parish deputy to give him information on the investigation into Worldwide Gaming, according to Ragsdale’s attorney, Vinny Mosca. The conversation took place in November, more than 1 1/2 years after Ragsdale retired as the No. 2 official in the Sheriff’s Office.

    Mosca said his client acknowledges setting up a two-minute, face-to-face meeting with the deputy, who later reported the conversation to authorities. But Mosca would not say whether Ragsdale admits to trying to wring information out of the deputy, and neither Mosca nor Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone would name the deputy.

    The misdemeanor charge against Ragsdale, filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in New Orleans, could carry up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.

    Perricone said the charge grew out of Operation Hardcrust , the federal investigation into organized crime’s infiltration of video poker in Louisiana.

    Authorities say Worldwide Gaming and its sister company, Louisiana Route Operators, were set up as fronts to allow three crime families – the Gambinos of New York, the Genoveses of New Jersey and the Marcellos of New Orleans – to bilk profits from Bally Gaming, a poker machine manufacturer. The probe already has netted 25 convictions.”

    In a 1995 indictment growing out of the probe, Ragsdale was named one of 63 unindicted co-conspirators. He also testified before a federal grand jury in March 1996.

    “The government wanted to know what Bobbie knew about these people, if anything,” Mosca said.

    Before the federal investigation began, Mosca said, Ragsdale met with two top Worldwide Gaming officials to discuss the possibility of getting into the business.

    “They were just meetings,” Mosca said. Ragsdale “never created or organized a company.”

    But last fall, he said, Ragsdale allegedly tried to find out what a deputy knew about an investigation into whether the two same officials, Steve Bolson and Christopher Tanfield, had provided false information on their applications for state licenses. Bolson, Worldwide’s president, and Tanfield, the company’s vice president, have both pleaded guilty to federal crimes.”

    ********
    Ok, Louisiana Route Operators turns up this:

    “LOUISIANA ROUTE OPERATORS, INC. Business Corporation HARAHAN Inactive

    Business: LOUISIANA ROUTE OPERATORS, INC.
    Charter Number: 34398906 D
    Registration Date: 1/27/1992
    Domicile Address
    1533 SAMS AVENUE, STE. D
    HARAHAN, LA 70123
    Mailing Address
    1533 SAMS AVENUE, STE. D
    HARAHAN, LA 70123
    Status
    Status: Inactive
    Inactive Reason: Action by Secretary of State
    File Date: 1/27/1992
    Last Report Filed: 12/5/1994
    Type: Business Corporation

    Amendments on File (6)

    Description Date
    Amendment 7/14/1992
    Domicile, Agent Change or Resign of Agent 3/31/1993
    Domicile, Agent Change or Resign of Agent 3/31/1999
    Appointing, Change, or Resign of Officer 4/5/1999
    Domicile, Agent Change or Resign of Agent 4/15/1999
    Revoked 5/16/2000 ”

    That Sams Street address is indeed in Harahan, it’s right off Citrus and just 8 blocks down Edwards and Distributors Row from Pepsi Street, so that might be what you’re thinking of.

    One other bit of trivia fun: It’s just 2 blocks from “HEEBE STREET.” I sh*+ you not.

  10. I remember that one, but I worked in the building, I think it 2441 Pepsi St.; warehouse with a small office. The office had a raised platform where the video poker machines were showcased and “sold”. The door to the warehouse was locked from the warehouse side, not the office side. You could only get to the warehouse with a key from inside the office. It is my understanding that the warehouse was empty. The office was a front for the video poker machine scam.
    Everytime I drive through Elmwood I want to research how the streets were named!

  11. Turtle are you sure it wasn’t 5441 Pepsi Street? There’s definitely warehouse space there.

    There was a company there called Clearview Packaging … which does not show up in the LA SOS.

    The JP Assessor has it under the name of a guy named Lennis T. Conrad (and that sounds an awful lot like Gordon Konrad, the old Marcello partner who had a video poket truck stop not far away on Jeff Hwy.)

    And there’s also this:

    3.20.91 BR Advocate:

    “Man indicted for bootlegging tapes, counterfeiting stamps

    A federal grand jury has accused a LaPlace man of running a ring that bootlegged as many as 1.8 million popular music tapes and counterfeited food stamps.

    Dennie M. Lyons, 46, his wife Johnette, 43, and three men made $30,000 a week from the cassettes, and U.S. Secret Service agents found more than $90,000 in fake food stamps, according to the indictment returned Friday.

    The Lyonses, Gregory P. Oliney, Eddie J. Oliney and Lennis T. Conrad all were charged with copyright infringement. The Lyonses and Olineys also were charged with selling counterfeit food stamps.

    The indictment said Dennie Lyons kept production facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi, where duplicating machines recorded tapes onto blank cassettes.

    Peter Stasser of the U.S. Attorney’s Office said the operation was producing between 10,000 and 35,000 tapes a week from early 1989 until the end of 1990, when the operation ended.

    Dennie Lyons was arrested last week as he tried to move equipment to restart his underground business, Stasser said.

    Conrad ran Clearview Packaging in the Jefferson Parish town of Harahan, where bogus tapes were packaged for sale, authorities said.

    The cassettes often found their way to flea markets and small grocery stores across Louisiana and Mississippi, the indictment said.

    The recording industry estimates that artists and composers lose between $350 million and $400 million a year because of sales of counterfeit music tapes, said Ken Giel, director of investigations for the Record Industry Association of America, which is financed by recording companies.

    A copyright infringement charge carries a possible maximum penalty of five years in prison. A charge of selling counterfeit food stamps carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.”

  12. That is the address. Man, you don’t know what your acquaintainces are up to, do you?
    I don’t remember what the business was listed under in SOS records. I think it was under a relatives company. I will think some more.

  13. Alan Katz, Danae Columbus and Wilma Bonvillion ( former Harahan Alderwoman, Levee Board Consultant and most recently very good friend of Judge Steve Windhorst) …three names were linked back in the day when Wilma was very good friends with Bob Livingston. Livingston aide Rick Legendre not a happy camper with the Livingston-Bonvillion friendship. Whatever became of Legendre anyway? Just remembering that Bonvillion was hawking Katz & Columbus as political operatives for various Candidates in numerous races around Louisiana. Bonvillion tight ( no idea how tight) with deceased Sheriff Harry Lee. Heard Katz and Columbus had not so nice split of business…very much on the down low. Rumor has it Bonvillion still fancies herself an operative…

  14. Incredible. Also on the Kenner Star masthead? Carl W. Cleveland.

    10.20.04 TP:

    “…Carl Cleveland of New Orleans was tried in federal court in 1997 along with a video-poker truck-stop operator from Slidell and former state Sens. Larry Bankston and B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn.

    Prosecutors alleged a widespread scheme involving false statements on gambling licenses, tax evasion and the bribery of the two state lawmakers.

    Bankston was convicted of interstate communications in aid of racketeering and served 33 months in prison. Rayburn was acquitted.

    Cleveland and the truck stop owner, Fred Goodson, were convicted on a wide array of charges, including tax counts and money laundering, racketeering and conspiracy counts based on mail fraud. …”

    10.16.96 TP:

    “RACKETEERING CHARGES DENIED – THREE PLEAD INNOCENT IN FEDERAL COURT

    The owner of a Slidell truck stop, his attorney and an accountant pleaded innocent Tuesday to federal charges stemming from an FBI investigation of corruption associated with the video poker industry.

    Their arraignments followed on the heels of a court visit by former state Sen. Larry Bankston, D-Port Hudson, who entered the same plea Friday on related charges.

    Arraigned Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Louis Moore Jr. were:

    Fred Goodson, 53, of Pearl River, former proprietor of a Slidell truck stop and the now defunct video poker lounge that was adjacent to it.

    Goodson’s attorney, Carl W. Cleveland , a Kenner resident who practices law in New Orleans.

    Joe H. Morgan, a Laurel, Miss., accountant accused of conspiring to conceal the true ownership of Goodson’s video poker lounge.

    Goodson and Cleveland are accused of scheming to conceal more than $1.3 million in video poker proceeds from the truck stop. They were first arraigned on the charges in August, along with Goodson’s daughter, Maria Goodson, and former state Sen. B.B. “Sixty” Rayburn, D-Bogalusa.

    A second arraignment was required after Morgan and Bankston were added to a 19-count superseding indictment issued Oct. 4.

    Maria Goodson and Rayburn, who pleaded innocent to the charges in August, were given until Oct. 24 to enter pleas on the superseding indictments.

    Morgan could receive prison terms totaling 168 years and fines of nearly $7 million, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Boitman said. Goodson could get 193 years, plus $8.2 million in fines. Cleveland faces maximum sentences of 178 years with as much as $7.5 million in fines.

    Federal sentencing practices generally result in considerably less prison time and fines.

    Bankston and the other three were released on $50,000 personal surety bonds, and Moore said the trial will be held May 12 before U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance.

    The six defendants have been given notice of a $15.6 million forfeiture of proceeds from the alleged racketeering, and Cleveland, Morgan and the Goodsons may have to surrender $1.3 million involved in alleged money laundering.

    Bankston, former chairman of the powerful Senate gambling committee, is accused of using his position to scuttle legislation potentially damaging to the video poker industry. He decided not to seek re-election after FBI affidavits revealing the investigation were disclosed.

    The indictment charges Bankston with accepting from Goodson a $1,555 bribe disguised as rent on Bankston’s condominium in Orange Beach, Ala. The FBI alleges that Goodson never stayed at the condo and that the payment was for help killing legislation that sought to subject video poker to a referendum.

    Bankston also allegedly was promised a hidden interest in Truck Stop Gaming and $100,000 of stock in Tempico Corp., another Goodson company, to help persuade State Police to allow Goodson to resume operations at his Slidell video poker lounge.

    In addition to racketeering and conspiracy charges, Morgan also is accused of money laundering, conducting an illegal gambling business and falsifying tax returns.

    Morgan allegedly was involved with BAJ Corp., which Cleveland is accused of setting up to funnel thousands of dollars of video poker proceeds to Rayburn’s children. Prosecutors claim the payments were bribes for the senator’s votes to shield the industry.

    As a result of a separate gambling investigation, William Broadhurst, the former law partner of former Gov. Edwin Edwards, faces arraignment today on charges that he skimmed money from construction contracts for two floating casinos that operated in New Orleans for only six weeks in 1995.

    The indictment did not specify how much money Broadhurst allegedly gained, but accused him of four counts of mail fraud involving checks totaling $255,555.

    The failed New Orleans project, known as River City, was a partnership of Grand Palais Riverboats, headed by resort developer Christopher Hemmeter, and a New Jersey-based company, Capital Gaming International. Broadhurst was a consultant to Grand Palais, the indictment said.”

    This guy, who apparently is not even alive any more (really, +RIP+) is a CONTRIBUTING WRITER for the Kenner Star?

    1. Rocheblave you’re on a holy tear today my man. I’d be remiss if I did not add the racketeering portion of what became known as USA v Cleveland was mostly reversed by the Supremes though Cleveland, Bankston and Goodson served time in the pen. Somewhere in the T-P archives is a story about Cleveland’s letters home from prison. Joe Morgan was acquitted at trial along with Sixty Rayburn. The rest including then Senator Larry Bankston were found guilty at trial though some of those them including Cleveland and the Goodsons had the bulk of their convictions reversed. If memory serves it was Judge Vance’s first trial, certainly her first major trial. It was notable because Bankston’s attorney, Lewis Unglesby challenged one of the AUSAs to a fight in open court, Mike Magner if I recall right. Cleveland passed away relatively young from cancer after he was released from prison.

      sop

  15. maria goodson was convicted in this truck stop deal. she is now better known as maria davis first lady of st tammany parish.

  16. Question:

    DOES THE CITY OF KENNER STILL PAY OR HIR OR RETAIN CMC, Inc., aka Carl Mullican Communications, aka Mullican Communications, formerly of the noew deceased Carl Denver Mullican, IN ANY WAY?

    “There are other irregularities in Kenner’s spending with CMC, which made $290,934 in Kenner business from 1997, the first full year that Congemi was mayor, through July 2000.

    City officials could not produce contracts with the firm for 1997 and 1998, for example. Nicolosi said he thinks CMC was operating under a 1991 contract signed by then-Mayor Aaron Broussard and that included an annual renewal provision.”

    -11.2.00 TP

    Per the LA SOS the Kenner star was CREATED “Registration Date: 7/29/1991.” That’s the same date Troy Broussard was appointed the lone officer and he has been since, at least per the LA SOS.

    CMC of River Ridge, in current form:

    “Name Type City Status
    CARL MULLICAN COMMUNICATIONS, INC. Business Corporation RIVER RIDGE Active

    Business: CARL MULLICAN COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
    Charter Number: 33328630 D
    Registration Date: 2/19/1981
    Domicile Address
    10017 IDLEWOOD PLACE
    RIVER RIDGE, LA 70123
    Mailing Address
    C/O DOROTHY C. MULLIGAN
    10017 IDLEWOOD PLACE
    RIVER RIDGE, LA 70123
    Status
    Status: Active
    Annual Report Status: Not In Good Standing for failure to file Annual Report
    File Date: 2/19/1981
    Last Report Filed: 6/28/2010
    Type: Business Corporation

    Registered Agent(s)
    Agent: DOROTHY C. MULLICAN
    Address 1: 10017 IDLEWOOD PLACE
    City, State, Zip: RIVER RIDGE, LA 70123
    Appointment Date: 3/5/2007

    Officer(s) Additional Officers: No
    Officer: DOROTHY C. MULLICAN
    Title: Secretary/Treasurer
    Address 1: 10017 IDLEWOOD
    City, State, Zip: RIVER RIDGE, LA 70123

    Officer: CARL D. MULLICAN III
    Title: President
    Address 1: 10017 IDLEWOOD
    City, State, Zip: RIVER RIDGE, LA 70123

    Amendments on File
    No Amendments on file”

    “11/4/00 – According to a Times Picayune article a public relations firm that was used to promote the road-tax renewal a year ago was compensated TWICE for the work and was allowed to keep both sums for more than a year? Oversight? Deliberate move? Well, according to records the firm was paid $26,733 on 7/23/99 and on 9/2/99 was paid another $44,934. After the paper looked into the matter, Mayor Louis Congemi asked for the original payment back. The company? Oh, CMC Inc. Owner? Oh, Carl Mullican… The paper is reporting about several other “irregularities.” CMC’s fee included $1,233 for an advertisement that was never advertised, anti-civil service ads paid for by Kenner Police Chief Nick Congemi, the mayor’s brother, failure to produce contracts for CMC’s work in 1997 and 1998, illegal payments to CMC beyond the $2,000 limit cap, and “creative charges” amounting to $8,754. Wow!

    11/5/00 – The editorial in the Times Picayune goes into detail about why Kenner officials need to explain themselves concerning this CMC escapade. Did the mayor let the company keep the initial payment – even after they got paid again? Did everybody concern start taking nerve pills and attend confession after the paper started prying?”

    http://www.reocities.com/fbecke/kenner.html

    The 2001 Legislative Auditor Report (pdf Page 7) explained how that included payments to the Kenner Star for advertising:

    http://app1.lla.state.la.us/PublicReports.nsf/86256EA9004C005986256EDF0012D58D/$FILE/40ad73d9.PDF

    “Evans also became Mamoulides’ chief lobbyist in the Legislature and lobbied on behalf of the Parish Council. His big break came in 1979. With Mamoulides’ backing, he ran for and won the council seat vacated by James Donelon, now a state representative. On the council, Evans won praise as a hard worker who ran the meetings well and could put together a coalition. Carl Mullican , a friend and political consultant, says Evans brought a serious work ethic to the council. ”

    -3.12.95 TP

    So is that contract with CMC created by Broussard with CMC in 1991 – in the same year as the creation of the Kenner Star – still in effect? Or not?

  17. Does this sound familiar? And the time frame (1990, vs 1991 for the Kenner Star?)

    10.29.92 TP:

    ” – WHERE THE MONEY WENT – A review of receipts and canceled checks from Harahan’s Railroad Fair checking account showed more than $25,000 in expenditures since 1980, including: A $4,436.16 check made out to Carl Mullican Communications to pay for production of the city’s 1990 tabloid, which included a disclaimer saying no public money was used. Ferrara said the disclaimer was included because he doesn’t think the railroad fair money is public.”

    ————–

    Here’s the full story from way back when…

    “MAYOR SPENT CASH FROM CITY FUND AT OWN DISCRETION – POLITICAL STORM ERUPTS IN HARAHAN

    A city of Harahan checking account, opened in 1980 to handle proceeds from the annual Harahan Railroad Fair, has been used to pay for holiday parties, country club dinners, a keg of beer for a civic group, a mayoral sponsorship in a golf tournament and other items totalling more than $25,000, a review of city records shows.

    More than $10,000 of expenditures from the account was used in 1986 and 1990 to pay for annual reports, tabloid-sized publications sent to Harahan residents detailing the accomplishments of city officials, records show. The 1990 report carried a disclaimer stating, “No public funds expended in the production of this report.” A copy of the 1986 report was unavailable.

    The railroad fair account has touched off a political firestorm in Harahan, with two aldermen and Police Chief John Doyle questioning how money in the account has been spent for the past 12 years.

    The three also question why the money is not deposited into the general fund and why checks written off it – virtually all of them signed by Mayor Carlo Ferrara and City Clerk Barbara Butera – were not approved by the Board of Aldermen.

    The revelations come just days before a runoff between Butera and Martha Cimo for a vacant alderman seat. Butera is supported by Ferrara, while Cimo is endorsed by Doyle.

    “This is an attempt to discredit me,” said Butera, who signed only a few checks as an interim mayor in 1988 and the rest as clerk under Ferrara. “I have not done anything wrong. It’s public dollars, but it’s not tax dollars. All of these are legitimate public expenses.”

    Despite next week’s election, some city officials said questions about the account are legitimate.

    “All I know is that any funds that come to the city should be budgeted and subject to the board’s review and approval,” Alderman Kerry Lauricella said. “I knew there was some account, but I never saw it. I never saw checks from it show up on our check registers.”

    Ferrara, meanwhile, has given conflicting views on the account, saying on at least one occaison that it is public money, then saying he isn’t sure. Regardless, he said he views the money as “discretionary funds” and feels he has the authority to spend it.

    “I don’t class it as public money and I don’t class it as a private account. I don’t know. If I say it’s public money, then I’m wrong. If I say it’s private money, it’s not really private. It’s money, and a court would have to tell me what it is,” Ferrara said.

    A letter to Ferrara from the city’s auditor dated Oct. 15 states that “the account is an account of the general fund of the City.” In addition, numerous receipts paid off the railroad fair account show that the city was charged the reduced sales tax rate applied to local governments.

    Doyle has asked the district attorney to investigate the matter and has filed a complaint with the state attorney general. Doyle said he didn’t know the account existed until questioned about it by a reporter from The Times-Picayune.

    “I think it’s appalling to find out the mayor has had an unauthorized checking account and using it as he wishes,” Doyle said. “He’s been operating a slush fund since 1982 while the rest of the city’s budget is being cut.”

    The fall railroad fair is a big event each year in Harahan, a festive weekend offering rides, games and other entertainment for local families.

    But the fair also raises money for nine non-profit organizations and the city. The city doesn’t charge fair organizers for use of the Harahan Playground, but does receive one tenth of the event’s net proceeds.

    The mayor acknowledged that the bank account is separate from the general fund and said money from the fair account is generally used for small, inexpensive items for the city.

    The railroad fair money is not budgeted as part of the general fund, according to the mayor, because the city’s share often comes in too late to include it.

    Ferrara said the number of checks written out of the account and most of the expenditures are so small that he did not think it was necessary for the account to be budgeted or submitted to the aldermen for review. He said he can spend the railroad fair money because it is “discretionary funds that were not so-called – to me – public funds” that came from taxes or service charges.

    Moreover, he said that what was purchased through the account was legal under guidelines regulating what can be bought with public funds.

    But Grover Austin, an assistant state legislative auditor, said a city official’s authority to spend money comes from either the budget or a public body. The Board of Aldermen can give the mayor authority to spend the money as budgeted.

    “The budget is a legal document,” Austin said. “If the money isn’t budgeted, then no alderman or mayor has authority to make those expenditures.”

    Butera differed with the mayor and said the money is budgeted as miscellaneous funds. She said she did not know why it goes into a separate account instead of the general fund, but said “that probably will change after this.”

    In Harahan, only checks generated by the city computer are on the register seen each month by the aldermen, Ferrara said. The few checks written off the railroad fair account are handwritten, he said, and do not appear on the computer printout.

    Austin said additional, undedicated revenue received by a municipality should not go into a separate account. “Unless it’s dedicated for a specific purpose, it should go into the general fund,” he said.

    Ferrara said that all the aldermen were aware of the account and had access to records related to it. Aldermen Joe Picone and Lauricella, and former alderwoman Wilma Bonvillian, however, said they knew little or nothing about it.

    “I wasn’t aware of the account and I was an alderman for 5 12 years,” Bonvillian said. “The account was never brought up before the council. This was something under the mayor’s jurisdiction. Nothing was ever submitted to us for approval and it never came up. And the checks received by the city from the fair organizers were never presented at our meetings.”

    Picone said he questioned the mayor about the account because he received checks for expense reimbursements last year that were written off the railroad fair account, and could not find them on the check register submitted to the Board of Aldermen.

    After checking the city’s 1991 audit report and failing to find the account listed, Picone became convinced proper procedures were not followed.

    “After seeing records of that account, I don’t know how the mayor can hold up his head in public,” Picone said. “I’m deeply disturbed by this account. It’s never been budgeted and we’ve never discussed it.”

    The controversy has shaken the mayor, who believes he is the target of a vendetta by Doyle.

    “If there is something that we did that’s not proper, then I need to know about it and I’ll defend it,” Ferrara said. “I don’t think we spent anything out of there that wasn’t for a legitimate expense.”

    Ferrara’s supporters accuse Doyle of bringing the railroad fair account up only to soil Ferrara’s reputation and credibility and hurt Butera’s chances in the Nov. 3 runoff.

    “Why is the chief questioning the account now?” asked board member Karen Ranatza. “To me this looks political because he waited until right before an election to bring this up. If you can discredit your opponent, you can help your own candidate win.”

    But the police chief said the charge of politics is designed to head off scrutiny of the account.

    “Saying it’s political is a smokescreen for what the mayor and Miss Butera did,” Doyle said. “It’s not political, it’s just wrong.”

    WHERE THE MONEY WENT A review of receipts and canceled checks from Harahan’s Railroad Fair checking account showed more than $25,000 in expenditures since 1980, including: A $4,436.16 check made out to Carl Mullican Communications to pay for production of the city’s 1990 tabloid, which included a disclaimer saying no public money was used. Ferrara said the disclaimer was included because he doesn’t think the railroad fair money is public. … “

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