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Mark Titus gets prison sentence

Mark Titus (Photo courtesy: Times-Picayune) Mark Titus (Photo courtesy: Times-Picayune)

The brother-in-law of River Birch landfill's chief financial officer has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Mark Titus, former chief operating officer of Garner Services LLC, tried to withdraw his guilty plea Wednesday, just before being sentenced, but U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle rejected that request.

Titus claims he had a deal with the government in which they promised not to seize any of his property.  But prosecutors say that's not true.  In fact, prosecutors say Titus has been trying to hide his assets ever since he pled guilty last year.

"Frankly, Mr. Titus, I believe you've lied to the court," Lemelle said. "That compounds and complicates your whole situation."

Titus, 49, of New Orleans, declined to address the judge before he handed down the sentence.

Titus' attorney says he's been informed the government plans to file a superceding indictment with new charges against Titus. Those charges could be for allegedly hiding assets.

Titus pled guilty last October to embezzlement charges and agreed to help the government build a case against his brother-in-law, Dominic Fazzio.  Fazzio is the chief financial officer of River Birch landfill.

The feds' hope was that Fazzio would give information on his bosses, River Birch owners Fred Heebe and Jim Ward.  But Fazzio maintains his innocence and no charges have been filed against Heebe or Ward.

In addition to five years in prison, Titus was also ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.  He must also pay restitution to the construction company he embezzled money from, to the tune of $925,000.

Titus must turn himself in by October 26.


This report includes content from the Associated Press (Copyright 2012; All Rights Reserved).

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