by Allie Gross
The latest in the salacious, and seemingly on-going Kwame Kilpatrick saga.
Former Detroit Treasurer — and Kilpatrick frat bro — Jeffrey Beasley, 46, was sentenced to 11-years in prison Monday for his role directing a bribery and kickback scheme that cost the city’s pension fund $97 million in losses.
While US District Judge Nancy Edmunds ignored the federal prosectors' recommendation that Beasley be sentenced to 15-years, she seemed to take note of their description of him being a "catalyst of corruption," sticking him with the third longest sentence of the 38 people who were convicted during the decade long federal investigation into the public corruption under Mayor Kilpatrick.
Beasley, who served as a trustee on the city’s pension funds and was a fraternity brother of Kilpatrick’s at Florida A&M University, was convicted last December, along with former pension trustee Paul Stewart and pension fund lawyer Ronald Zajac, of conspiracy, extortion and bribery.
The visible and highly-watched case highlighted Beasley’s role in green lighting $200 million in corrupt deals in exchange for kickbacks.
During the trial the prosecution went into detail describing the depravity that prevaded Beasley’s time at the helm, explaining how he accepted cash bribes, opulent vacations and meals all in return for his approval on shaky pension investment deals. The FBI in its report recorded how Beasley and Kilpatrick accepted private jet travel, trips and golf outings from an investment adviser — the assumption (and reality) being they would reward these gifts with contracts.
Notably the city’s pension system was distressed as a result of these nefarious deals; specifically the prosecution zeroed in on two dubious Detroit pension funds that lost a combined total of over $95 million because of Beasley’s schemes.
“Beasley faced a choice. He could have used his intelligence, people skills, financial acumen and leadership to have a positive impact on the pension systems of the city. Instead, Beasley’s greed and selfishness led him to use his positions as treasurer and trustee to corruptly make money for himself,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey wrote in court documents.
While Kilpatrick was never charged in the pension scheme, he was found guilty of multiple charges of public corruption crimes — which also included bribery, extortion and fraud — and was sentenced in October 2013 to 28 years in prison.
Beasley's sentence of 11-years is the third longest, following Kilpatrick's 28-years and former Detroit contractor Bobby Ferguson's 21-years.