Monday, May 23, 2011

FBI Press Release: former Jacksonville Port Director Convicted of Corruption Chargse

Jury Convicts Tony Nelson on Corruption Charges
U.S. Attorney’s Office May 20, 2011

Middle District of Florida (904) 301-6300

JACKSONVILLE, FL—U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that a federal jury today found Tony Devaughn Nelson (51, of Jacksonville) guilty of 36 corruption-related charges, including bribery, money laundering, honest services mail fraud, and making a false statement to the FBI. Nelson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000.00 fine for the conspiracy charge (count 1); 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000.00 fine for each honest service mail fraud charge (counts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13); 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000.00 fine for each money laundering charge (counts 14-24); up to 12 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each bribery charge (counts 25-36); and up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 or the false statement charge (count 44). A date for sentencing has not yet been set.

Nelson was indicted on January 10, 2010.

Testimony and evidence established that Nelson, as the chairman of the Jacksonville Port Authority, demanded and accepted $143,500 in bribes between August 2006 and March 27, 2008. The bribes were paid by co-conspirator, Lance W. Young, owner of Subaqueous Services, Inc. (SSI), a dredging contractor at JAXPort. While accepting the bribe payments, Nelson denied any relationship with Young or SSI during multiple official inquiries due to allegations of an improper relationship between Nelson and SSI.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mac D. Heavener, III and Mark B. Devereaux.

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