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LOUISIANA COMMISSIONER SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN PRISON

Informa Insurance News 24

LOUISIANA COMMISSIONER SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS IN PRISON

Suspended Louisiana insurance commissioner Jim Brown has been sentenced to six months in federal prison and fined $50,000 after being convicted of lying to a federal agent who was investigating the failure of locally based Cascade Insurance. Mr Brown plans to appeal against the conviction. He, along with former governor Edwin Edwards and lawyer Ronald Weems, had been accused of orchestrating an illegal scheme to liquidate Cascade Insurance in a manner favourable to Cascade owner David Disiere. Mr Edwards and Mr Weems were acquitted on all fraud, conspiracy and witness-tampering charges, but Mr Brown was found guilty of lying to FBI agent Harry Burton. On appeal Mr Brown is expected to argue that, unlike Mr Weems, he did not have access to agent Burton’s notes during the trial. Mr Brown was suspended without pay by the state insurance department following the conviction last October. He will return to office should his appeal succeed. Mr Brown’s two predecessors as insurance commissioner were both convicted on federal corruption charges.

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