BATON ROUGE, LA—The Office of the United States Attorney announced today that, as part of an ongoing investigation known as Operation Blighted Officials, a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging THOMAS A. NELSON, JR., age 40, of New Roads, Louisiana, with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, wire fraud, using an interstate facility in aid of racketeering, making false statements to the FBI, and forfeiture. If convicted, NELSON, who is the mayor of the city of New Roads, Louisiana, faces up to 65 years' imprisonment and a $1,750,000 fine.
The superseding indictment alleges that NELSON obtained thousands of dollars in cash and other things of value, such as tickets to sporting events, luxury hotel rooms, and meals from businesspeople in exchange for using his position as mayor for the benefit of the businesspeople in connection with transactions NELSON believed were worth millions of dollars. The superseding indictment further alleges that NELSON deprived the citizens of New Roads of his honest services as mayor and lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Corey R. Amundson who serves as the Senior Deputy Criminal Chief and Assistant United States Attorney M. Patricia Jones who serves as the Senior Litigation Counsel.
NOTE: An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that probable cause exists to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty at trial.