Former Insurance Brokers Sentenced in Louisiana Bribery Scheme

March 6, 2009

Two major figures, both former insurance brokers, in a wide ranging investigation into corruption at the Orleans Parish School Board have been sentenced in federal court by U. S. District Judge Martin L. C. Feldman, according to an announcement released by U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

Charles Swanson, age 64, a resident of New Orleans and a former insurance broker who did business with the Orleans Parish Public School Board was sentenced to five years probation, with six months home confinement. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Swanson cooperated with the government in this investigation and the Court was made aware of that cooperation.

Glenn Davis, age 56, a resident of New Orleans and former insurance broker who did business with the Orleans Parish Public School Board, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. Judge Feldman also ordered that the defendant serve three years of supervised release following the term of imprisonment during which time the defendant will be under federal supervision.

Several federal and local law enforcement agencies partnered in the corruption investigation.

Swanson was indicted on June 29, 2006, for Hobbs Act conspiracy and Hobbs Act violations in connection with bribing former Orleans Parish School Board Manager Carl Coleman.

Davis was indicted on the same date for the Hobbs Act conspiracy and violations with the Coleman bribes and for three counts of income tax evasion and three counts of making false statements to the IRS.

Swanson pled guilty to the Hobbs Act conspiracy and violation, Davis pled guilty to those charges as well as tax evasion.

Another defendant, Lillian Smith-Haydel was charged in a separate charging document with the Coleman bribes. She pled guilty and is set for sentencing on April 15, 2009.

Coleman was sentenced to serve 22 months imprisonment, $366,883.92 restitution, and three years supervised release on Oct. 29, 2008, by United States District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon for his role in the corruption.

The school board probe has to date netted 27 convictions either by guilty plea or jury verdict.

In August 1997, and continuing through 2003, Haydel, Swanson, and Davis conspired to pay cash kickbacks to Coleman in order for the insurance companies they represented to continue to maintain insurance contracts with the Orleans Parish School Board.

Haydel, Swanson, and Davis maintained the contracts and continued to receive consulting fees or commissions and Coleman received several thousand dollars from Haydel, Swanson, and Davis. During the course of the conspiracy, Haydel, Swanson and Davis, met covertly in parking lots, coffee houses, offices and other places to discuss kickback payments to Coleman. Haydel and Davis obtained cash which they tendered to Swanson in order to make payments to Coleman.

Davis admitted receiving unreported taxable income in the sum of $158,877.90; and owing to the United States of America an income tax of $42,550.00 during the calendar year 2000.

This investigation was conducted by Special Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, and Inspectors with the Department of Education Inspector General’s Office. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. and Dall Kammer. The investigation remains active and ongoing.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana,

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