Thursday, June 26, 2008
MONROE, La. (AP) - A northeastern Louisiana district attorney, the former head of a reservoir district and the president of an engineering company have been accused of enriching themselves by hiding interest in land next to a public project.
A federal grand indicted Fifth District Attorney William R."Billy" Coenen Jr., former Poverty Point Reservoir District executive director Michael Thompson and Denmon Engineering president Terry Denmon.
Each is charged with eight counts of mail fraud and one of conspiring to enrich himself by hiding the purchase of land that is now worth much more because of work paid for by the reservoir district.
Defense attorney Michael Small of Alexandria says Coenen is absolutely innocent.
U.S. Attorney Donald Washington says the three are accused of hiding their interest in five acres of land bought before the reservoir was created, next to where the reservoir was planned. He says they paid $16,800 for five acres - and that six of eight lotsthere have sold for a total of $250,000.
( The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)