“Straw Man” Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

September 12, 2008

A man described by prosecutors as a “straw man” who helped conceal an unlicensed bond broker’s illegal insurance business has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Sixty-seven-year-old James Zoucha of Oceanside, Calif., faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine following his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Louisiana State Senator Derrick Shepherd also faces charges in the case against unlicensed bond broker Gwendolyn Joseph Moyo. Prosecutors say Shepherd helped Moyo launder money to conceal her illegal operation of an insurance business.

Shepherd and Moyo are awaiting a trial in October. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is scheduled to sentence Zoucha on January 7.

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