Irvin Mayfield, accomplice sentenced to 18 months for bilking $1.3 million from New Orleans library basis
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his enterprise accomplice Ronald Markham every was sentenced to 18 months in federal jail Wednesday (Nov. 3), practically a yr after they pleaded responsible to a scheme that defrauded the New Orleans Public Library Basis of $1.3 million.
U.S. District Decide Jay C. Zainey additionally ordered the pair to repay $1.123 million in restitution, educate 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 back to jail.
The sentence culminates a exceptional fall from grace for Mayfield, 43, who as soon as was town’s ambassador for cultural and leisure tourism promotion and a outstanding, beloved determine in its post-Hurricane Katrina restoration.
Zainey stated he thought of placing Mayfield behind bars for 2 years, however opted for a shorter sentence with the supply that the musician begin working and paying restitution inside 60 days of his jail launch.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Mayfield and his pianist/collaborator Markham used their positions as president or board members of the muse to divert greater than $1.3 million in funds meant for town’s public libraries into their very own tasks and pockets by 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 Fortress Haley Boulevard that served as NOJO’s Central Metropolis base, prosecutors stated.
Different 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 life-style 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 stated.
The childhood mates ran the grift between August 2011 and January 2013, based on a federal grand jury’s December 2017 indictment.
Along with his fame 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 identify from its Bourbon Avenue music venue that had been known as Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse.
Mayfield pleaded poverty in courtroom and was assigned federal public defender Claude Kelly as his authorized counsel. Mayfield and Markham maintained their innocence for practically 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 depend every of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Every confronted a most federal jail sentence of 5 years. However below phrases of the plea deal, prosecutors agreed to drop 23 different counts introduced towards the defendants.
Mayfield and Markham nonetheless argued for leniency at Wednesday’s sentencing listening to, objecting to some parts of the pre-sentencing report ready for Zainey’s assessment.
“His sin was ego,” Kelly advised the choose, “not greed.”
Assistant U.S. Legal professional Dall Kammer implored the choose to impose the utmost five-year sentence, which he known as “cheap,” given the defendants’ conduct and sufferer.
“It might serve for example of white-collar criminals not getting a slap on the wrist, as an alternative getting jail time they deserve,” Kammer stated.
After former NOPD superintendent Eddie Compass spoke on Mayfield’s behalf and sufferer impression letters have been learn to advise the choose on the injury the defendants’ conduct inflicted on the library system, Mayfield addressed the courtroom.
“That is fairly emotional,” Mayfield stated. “My hope as we speak is that my household, mates, group and metropolis can settle for my apology. … Being taken away from my household can be the worst punishment of all.”
Zainey replied from the bench, “Why weren’t you considering of this if you have been violating the regulation? … The very libraries that helped you get your begin are those you ripped off.
“You let folks down. I’m completely happy you acknowledge that.”
Fox 8 reporter Olivia Vidal contributed to this report.
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