Former City of Kenner director of inspection and code enforcement sentenced to 46 months imprisonment


Date: April 6, 2023


New Orleans, LA — The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that United States District Court Judge Lance M. Africk sentenced James Mohamad, of Kenner, to forty-six (46) months imprisonment.  Mohamad pleaded guilty to conspiracy to using an interstate facility with intent to carry on unlawful activity (Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1952(a)(3)) and filing false tax returns (Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1)). Additionally, Mohamad was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine, $314,902 in restitution to the IRS, and a mandatory $200 special assessment fee. Upon release from imprisonment, he will serve a three (3) year term of supervised release.

According to court documents, Mohamad, the former Director of the Department of Inspection and Code Enforcement for the City of Kenner, bribed Brian Medus, the Assistant Chief Mechanical Inspector for the City of New Orleans, Safety and Permits Department with money, in return for the issuance of fraudulent permits for Mohamad’s HVAC jobs. Throughout the conspiracy, Mohamad paid Medus and others approximately $93,000 to further the bribery scheme. Additionally, Mohamad filed false individual tax returns that omitted substantial amounts of income, thus understating the income tax due the IRS.

Co-defendant, Brian Medus, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge and is scheduled for sentencing on May 3, 2023.

“James Mohamad intentionally defrauded the government by filing false individual tax returns which omitted substantial amounts of income and paying bribes to public officials” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “The sentencing shows that no one is above the law and that those who abuse their public positions and trust to commit illegal acts will be held accountable.”

"James Mohamad jeopardized the safety of countless homeowners who trusted him for more than a decade," said Douglas A. Williams, Jr. Special Agent in Charge of FBI New Orleans. "Those homeowners were unaware he was taking dangerous shortcuts in bribing a city official, hiding behind the legitimate permits of other contractors, and further concealing the dangers by inspecting his own work. We thank our partners, the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District, Internal Revenue Service, Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors and the New Orleans Office of Inspector General, who helped construct a strong case to put this con man out of business."

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the City of New Orleans/Office of Inspector General. Assistance was also provided by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Assistant United States Attorney Tracey N. Knight is prosecuting the matter.