Last week, one-time Toledo mayoral hopeful Jim Moody was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to commit program fraud and mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and three counts of money laundering.
A trio of co-defendants also were convicted and/or pleaded guilty to the scheme to turn a job-training program, designed to help unemployed northwest Ohioans, into a personal piggy bank. But Moody was the ring leader.
Former Toledo mayoral candidate James Moody was convicted of fraud charges last week in U.S. District court.
Moody’s company, BRIDGES, took the federal job-training money and spent it on personal expenses and real estate investments.
Company officials wrote checks to Moody and to his real estate company with “dividend” noted on the memo line. BRIDGES even paid ghost employees, including Moody’s wife, who never worked there.
Moody testified that he had his payroll checks made out to his wife instead of to himself during his 2009 mayoral bid on the advice of campaign staff. They did not believe, he said, that it would look good for the Republican candidate to be associated with an entitlement program. He actually said this on the stand.
Never mind that Moody was stealing from the program.
During his trial, Moody made it clear that he still does not see the problem with draining funds from a federal program to benefit himself. His attorney argued that Moody simply did not understand that he was not supposed to make a profit on the backs of the unemployed. He wanted to make money, and so he made money. Moody is still wondering what the problem is; what did he do wrong, really?
Thank God the voters had the sense not to put Moody in the mayor’s office. He is as shameless as he is clueless, and it is hard to say which characteristic looms larger.
Those are the criminals who most need a wake-up call — the ones who are totally unrepentant.
Judge Jack Zouhary will determine what that wake-up call will be. He will sentence Moody and two of the three other defendants in April. (A fourth is set to be sentenced in February.) Let’s hope the judge throws the book at them all.
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