NEW ORLEANS – Clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, a former investment banker now serving prison time for a fraud scheme in New Jersey testified that he helped arrange a $50,000 bribe to Ray Nagin in the former mayor’s corruption trial Monday.
Michael McGrath said he used his daughter’s trust account to wire Nagin the money, in exchange for the former mayor’s help in landing lucrative contracts. The contracts involved failed attempts to build a mixed-use development at a former Entergy power plant on the Mississippi River and a new NASCAR track in New Orleans East.
McGrath is a former business partner of businessman Frank Fradella, who has already pleaded guilty to bribery in the Nagin case.
Prosecutor Matt Coman asked McGrath, “Did Ray Nagin ask you and Frank Fradella for a $50,000 payoff?”
“Yes, he did,” McGrath replied.
“Did you facilitate that payoff?” Coman asked.
“Yes, I did,” McGrath replied.
“Was this a bribe?”
McGrath answered, “Yes.”