Street. louis — Two current and one former board members in St. Louis, including Chairman Louis Reed, have been indicted on federal charges accusing them of misusing their offices on multiple occasions in exchange for cash kickbacks and other things of value.
Reed, 22second abbreviation Ward Alderman, Jeffrey L Boyd, 21Street Ward Alderman John Collins Muhammad was indicted on May 25. Collins Muhammed resigned from his office on May 12, 2022 due to the ongoing criminal investigations. They are due to turn themselves in and appear for the first time in court on Thursday at 1 p.m. Reid faces two counts of bribery. Collins Muhammad has been indicted on two counts of bribery and one count of honest services bribery/wire fraud. Boyd faces two counts of bribery and a separate wire fraud indictment alleging that he fraudulently sought $22,000 from his insurance company for damages to the cars he falsely claimed.
The main indictment alleges that Collins Muhammad and Reed helped a small business owner obtain a lucrative property tax credit in exchange for a series of monetary kickbacks related to what the indictment refers to as “Project A.”
The indictment also alleges that in “Project B,” Boyd accepted cash to help his employer purchase city-owned property tens of thousands of dollars less than it was worth, and accepted more cash to help his employer obtain lucrative tax relief for that project.
The indictment outlines a years-long scheme in which Collins Muhammad, and later Reed, sought to help his employer, referred to in the indictment as “John Doe,” obtain a significant property tax cut for a new gas station and convenience store development in the Collins Muhammad ward. According to the indictment, Doe estimated the reduction could be between $20,000 and $30,000 per year over at least 10 years. In all, Reed accepted $9,000 in cash from Doe, the indictment alleges. The indictment alleged that Collins Muhammed accepted $7,000 in cash, $3,000 in campaign contributions, a new iPhone 11 and a 2016 Volkswagen CC sedan in exchange for his assistance. Collins Muhammad and Reed eventually worked to pass council bills that provided a property tax reduction for Project A.
During Reed’s 2021 run for mayor, Doe also gave Reed a total of $6,000 in cash and $3,500 in campaign contributions to aid Reed in Doe’s ultimately failed bid to obtain Minority Business Enterprise certification for his trucking company, and to help win contracts for city-building projects, it claims The indictment.
Collins also accuses Muhammed of accepting $3,000 after he had a meeting with a public official who could direct business to the trucking company that Doe runs. Collins Muhammed later requested an additional $2,500 on behalf of the official, but instead used it to purchase a 2008 Chevrolet Trailblazer, the indictment alleges.
A separate plot in the main indictment involved Doe purchasing commercial property on Geraldine Street in St. Louis from the city’s Land Reuse Authority, which owns and sells vacant properties. The property was in the Boyd suite.
Collins introduced Doe to Boyd so that Boyd could help with the purchase, and told Doe that he would have to pay money for Boyd’s help, the indictment states. With Boyd’s help, Doe was eventually able to purchase the property from the LRA for $14,000. The indictment claimed the LRA had valued it at $50,000, and Doe estimated it would have cost $250,000 if it had been sold privately. Boyd also introduced and sponsored a boardroom bill that introduced a significant property tax cut for Doe’s B.
Boyd accepted a total of $9,500 in cash from Doe in connection with Project B, and Doe also made free repairs worth $1,611 for Boyd’s 2006 Chevrolet Impala and $733 for his Kia truck, according to the indictment. Collins Muhammad received an additional $1,000 in cash to introduce Doe to Boyd.
Boyd has been indicted in a separate case with two counts of wire fraud for a scheme in which he and Doe are accused of agreeing to split the proceeds of insurance fraud related to a car accident on January 17, 2021 at Doe’s used car yard in Jennings, Missouri.
After Doe learned that his insurance company wouldn’t cover the damage, Boyd falsely suggested claiming that three of the damaged vehicles were owned by his used car company, The Best Place Auto Sales on Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in St. Petersburg Louis, the indictment alleges.
The indictment stated that Boyd filled out the Missouri Department of Revenue sales invoice and ownership forms for the three vehicles, fraudulently delayed sales dates to January 2 and falsely claimed that Boyd had paid $22,000 for the vehicles. Boyd also falsely requested a $50 per vehicle, daily storage fee from Boyd’s Damaged Vehicle Insurance Company. Boyd Insurance eventually rejected this claim.
If found guilty of the main indictment, Reed and Boyd’s charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and five years in prison, respectively, and a $250,000 fine. Collins Muhammad al-Sadiq’s bribery/wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. One bribery charge has a maximum term of 10 years and the other a maximum period of five years. Boyd’s additional charges for electronic fraud related to his auto insurance plan carry maximum penalties of up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Reply is also mandatory. In determining the actual sentencing, the judge has to consider the US Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
The case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Hal Goldsmith is following up on the case.
The charges in the indictment are mere accusations, and the accused are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.