Irvin Mayfield, partner sentenced to 18 months for bilking $1.3 million from New Orleans library foundation | techkashif


NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his enterprise partner Ronald Markham every was sentenced to 18 months in federal jail Wednesday (Nov. 3), almost a yr after they pleaded responsible to a scheme that defrauded the New Orleans Public Library Foundation of $1.3 million.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey additionally ordered the pair to repay $1.123 million in restitution, train 500 hours of pupil music classes and to serve three years of supervised launch as soon as their jail phrases are accomplished. They got till Jan. 5 to report to jail.

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The sentence culminates a exceptional fall from grace for Mayfield, 43, who as soon as was the town’s ambassador for cultural and entertainment tourism promotion and a outstanding, beloved determine in its post-Hurricane Katrina restoration.

Zainey mentioned he thought of placing Mayfield behind bars for two years, however opted for a shorter sentence with the availability that the musician begin working and paying restitution inside 60 days of his jail launch.

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Federal prosecutors alleged that Mayfield and his pianist/collaborator Markham used their positions as president or board members of the foundation to divert greater than $1.3 million in funds supposed for the town’s public libraries into their very own tasks and pockets by way of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra that Mayfield based in 2002.

About $1 million of funds meant to purchase books and assist library personnel and programming was steered towards the $10 million building price of the New Orleans Jazz Market, the venue on Oretha Castle Haley (*18*) that served as NOJO’s Central City base, prosecutors mentioned.

Other pilfered funds have been utilized by the pair to function and journey with their jazz orchestra, complement their six-figure salaries and to assist a lavish way of life that included luxurious lodge suites, Saks Fifth Avenue procuring sprees and a brand new trumpet for Mayfield plated in 24-carat gold, the courtroom doc mentioned.

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The childhood associates ran the grift between August 2011 and January 2013, in accordance to a federal grand jury’s December 2017 indictment.

With his popularity in tatters following the indictment, Mayfield’s efficiency alternatives started to dry up. The Royal Sonesta lodge within the French Quarter ended Mayfield’s seven-year residency in July 2019 and eliminated his title from its Bourbon Street music venue that had been referred to as Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse.

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Mayfield pleaded poverty in courtroom and was assigned federal public defender Claude Kelly as his authorized counsel. Mayfield and Markham maintained their innocence for almost three years whereas below indictment, till they negotiated a plea settlement in July 2020. Mayfield and Markham pleaded responsible collectively final Nov. 10 to a single rely every of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

Each confronted a most federal jail sentence of 5 years. But below phrases of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop 23 different counts introduced in opposition to the defendants.

Mayfield and Markham nonetheless argued for leniency at Wednesday’s sentencing listening to, objecting to some components of the pre-sentencing report ready for Zainey’s evaluation.

“His sin was ego,” Kelly instructed the choose, “not greed.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dall Kammer implored the choose to impose the utmost five-year sentence, which he referred to as “reasonable,” given the defendants’ conduct and sufferer.

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“It would serve as an example of white-collar criminals not getting a slap on the wrist, instead getting jail time they deserve,” Kammer mentioned.

After former NOPD superintendent Eddie Compass spoke on Mayfield’s behalf and sufferer influence letters have been learn to advise the choose on the harm the defendants’ conduct inflicted on the library system, Mayfield addressed the courtroom.

“This is quite emotional,” Mayfield mentioned. “My hope today is that my family, friends, community and city can accept my apology. … Being taken away from my family would be the worst punishment of all.”

Zainey replied from the bench, “Why weren’t you thinking of this when you were violating the law? … The very libraries that helped you get your start are the ones you ripped off.

“You let people down. I’m happy you recognize that.”

Fox 8 reporter Olivia Vidal contributed to this report.

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