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Willie Herenton has been under investigation for 18 months regarding selling options on downtown Greyhound Bus Terminal property. Herenton obtained a private financial interest in Greyhound’s bus station property at a time when, as mayor, he was urging the bus company to move its operations out of Downtown to make way for redevelopment. After years of resisting, Greyhound agreed in 2006 to move into a new, publicly financed $16.5 million station still under development near the airport. The investigation involves a $91,000 payment he received in 2006 while pushing the Greyhound Bus Terninal redevelopment plan. Herenton’s private investment came in the form of an option he obtained to purchase Greyhound’s Downtown property. Herenton’s private real estate firm obtained the option for $10,000 in 2004 and sold it two years later for $91,000, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

Herenton reigned as Mayor of Memphis after 18 years of service.  Herenton is now running for Congress, he denies any wrongdoing. The current grand jury will have been in session for 2 years at the end of December, and that’s as long as they’re legally allowed to exist. Prosecutor Tim DiScenza was seen entering the grand jury room for a short time, and then leaving. Herenton acknowledged in October that he received a target letter, which usually foreshadows an indictment. The U.S. Supreme Court has heard arguments in two cases involving “honest services” of corporate executives. The law has been used recently to prosecute an ever-expanding array of defendants, including self-dealing corporate executives. Herenton, who resigned in July, said this fall that he received a letter from prosecutors explaining that he’s the target of the federal probe. Herenton said the target letter references possible violations of the honest-services law. Target letters often are sent near the conclusion of an investigation and signal that prosecutors are contemplating asking the grand jury for an indictment. Honest-services fraud is a federal crime prosecuted as a violation of either the mail-fraud or wire-fraud statute. Wire and mail fraud typically involve a scheme to steal property or money, but federal courts have held that the statutes can also be used to prosecute individuals who cheat others of their “intangible right to honest services.” The honest-services statute is widely used by federal prosecutors when pursuing cases in which a public official accepts kickbacks or engages in self dealing through an undisclosed conflict of interest.

Subpoenas associated with Herenton:

Reginald French …whose company was the recipient of a multi-million dollar software contract with the city.

Memphis attorney, Charles Carpenter….the Greyhound Bus Station deal.

Will Hudson, President of MATA…..ordered to fork over company correspondence to FBI agents in 2007.

Hudson, at the time, told FOX13 News what the Feds asked for and got, “They requested nine, I believe, e-mails of myself and some people that were on our actual procurement committee.” E-mails that were perused to find a link between MATA, Herenton and Los Angeles engineering company owner, Elvin Moon. Who, by the way, not only got a 300-thousand dollar city contract with MATA, but also allegedly “cooperated” with investigators in divulging what he knew about Herenton’s buying and selling of the Greyhound Bus property for a 9-thousand dollar profit.

Pete Aviotti,…believed to be hit with questions about Herenton land deals and leftover thousands derived from Herenton-hosted Christmas parties.

Herenton’s son, Rodney, may have been questioned about a billion dollar MLGW bond sales deal allegedly to have benefited an Arkansas law firm who’d contributed to Herenton’s re-election campaign fund in 2003. An allegation the Senior Herenton then emphatically denied.

Herenton, in 2004, asserted about the bond deal.

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