Federal Grand Jury Indicts La. Woman in Construction Bonds Case

October 29, 2007

A federal grand jury in New Orleans brought a 15-count indictment against a Louisiana woman who sold construction bonds in several states, including Tennessee, after she was barred from the insurance business.

Federal convictions in 1989 and 1991 barred Gwendolyn Joseph Moyo from working in insurance, but she allegedly sold construction bonds – a form of insurance – for work in Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, the new indictment stated.

All 15 counts charged Moyo, 52, of New Orleans, with selling insurance after being convicted of a felony.

Moyo was the only person named in the indictment.

At a hearing, an FBI agent testified that state Sen. Derrick Shepherd helped her launder nearly $141,000 in bogus construction bond fees, keeping almost half the money.

Shepherd, a Democrat, denied the allegation. He said that the FBI targeted him because he had truthfully denied knowing about any wrongdoing by two New Orleans Democrats – U.S. Rep. William Jefferson or New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

Federal courts in Arizona convicted Moyo in 1989 of fraud and in 1991 on three counts of using a false Social Security number.

In 1989, as Gwendolyn Joseph, she was convicted of five counts of wire fraud, four of making false statements, three of mail fraud and one onf conspiracy, and sentenced to nine years in prison. She also was ordered to repay nearly $1.2 million.

Most of the construction bonds identified in the indictment were for work in Miami; nine were to two contractors at a Miami Beach development called Arte’ Park, and two for work at the Jenny Tower condos in Miami.

Projects in West Palm Beach, Fla., at the Old St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in West Memphis, Ark., a St. Tammany Parish dredging project, and a hotel in Memphis, Tenn., also were listed.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.