Former State Rep. Girod Jackson pleads guilty - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Former State Rep. Girod Jackson pleads guilty


NEW ORLEANS - For weeks it was clear that former State Rep. Girod Jackson was heading toward a guilty plea on federal tax fraud charges. The plea came Thursday in a second-floor courtroom at federal court.

"It was a Bill of Information, this was a foregone conclusion that he was going to come in and do this," said FOX 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.

In the tax fraud/evasion case, the feds charged Jackson with one count of making a fraudulent statement and two counts of willful failure to file tax returns. All of the charges deal with Jackson's business, Diversified Ventures.

After the guilty plea, Jackson's attorney, James Boren, spoke on his client's behalf.

"He remains remorseful," Borne said. "He knows that he made a big mistake. He knows he disappointed a lot of people. He's going to do the very best he can to pay the government the taxes that he owes."

The plea agreement referenced Jackson having to cooperate with the federal government. But his attorney and others said that does not mean Jackson is part any other federal probe.

"They charged him with a crime, he agreed that he did it, he agreed to plead guilty and he agreed to pay it back," Borne said. "To me that's substantial cooperation. I'm not aware of any federal criminal investigation of Mr. Jackson other than the one that we just pled guilty to."

"It may just mean that he's acquiescing to the charges," Raspanti said. "His attorney, Mr. Boren, indicated that he doesn't believe that he's going to be helping with any other investigations, so this just may be it."

Raspanti suggested "cooperation" is a requirement for all plea deals.

"It's boilerplate language on plea agreements that you need to truthfully de-brief with the federal government after you plea, so that's nothing new, and in this particular case, he may or may not be involved anything else," Raspanti said. "This may be the end of the line for this investigation."

Jackson's lawyer thinks his client may owe more than $50,000 in taxes related to the case.

"We've agreed on the amount of money that he did not declare,' Boren said. "It's very complicated to determine how much money that means you owe, just because you didn't declare it, you know, there's deductions."

Jackson will be sentenced Jan. 9, 2014. He could get three years in prison.

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