Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested this morning on over 101 counts of Bribery, Fraud, Conspiracy, Filing False Tax Returns, in the 101 count indictment of Larry P Langford and Friends.
Langford’s indictment comes as no surprise with the waning hours of the US District Attorney’s office likely to undergo change in January. The Indictment also includes Langford’s Friends William Blount and Al LaPierre.
Birmingham’s NBC 13 Broke the news story a few hours ago:
Breaking News: Langford, LaPierre, Blount face 101-count federal indictment
Andrea Lindenberg and Rod Carter
Published: December 1, 2008
Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford was arrested Monday and the 101-count indictment against him has been unsealed.
This morning, U.S. Attorney Alice Martin announced that Langford, along with friend Al LaPierre and businessman Bill Blount, face charges of conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
Langford was taken into custody at his job at Birmingham Budweiser Distributing. LaPierre turned himself in. Blount was expected to do the same.
Martin said Langford, as president of the Jefferson County Commission, steered $7.1 million in business to Bill Blount’s investment banking firm Blount Parrish. Martin said that in exchange, Blount ensured Langford’s “crushing debt” to the tune of $235,000.
During the news conference Martin said Langford received bribes from Blount—through friend Al LaPierre—to buy clothes and jewelry from expensive New York boutiques and high-end stores in Birmingham as well.
Martin said that between 2003 and 2006, Blount paid for about $235,000 in clothing, jewelry and charge account bills for Langford.
The U.S. Attorney also said that Blount gave Langford a $11,000 Rolex watch.
Another accusation is that Bill Blount engineered a personal loan from Colonial Bank for Langford, who defaulted on the loan. Then, Martin said, Blount set up a loan for LaPierre at the same same bank to pay off Langford’s original loan.
Martin said it was all in return for steering Jefferson County bond business to Blount’s Montgomery firm, including the multi-billion dollar sewer bond business.
She said, “He (Langford) sold his public office to a friend.”
Reginald McDanial with the Internal Revenue Service said, it was a “textbook, tax fraud scheme.” He went on to say, “all money is taxable, even money from illegal activity is taxable.”
On Monday morning, Deborah Vance with the mayor’s office released a statement which said in part:
“This is certainly no surprise to us—we anticipated something happening soon especially knowing Alice Martin’s days in office are numbered with the swearing in of a new president in late January—just a little over a month from now.”
Langford was set to make a first appearance Monday morning at 10 a.m.