Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor has been arrested by the FBI, in the early hours of Tuesday 10th November.
Cincinnati Councilman Jeff Pastor, a Republican who joined the council in January 2018, was arrested in what the FBI labelled a “brazen bribery scheme”, with federal prosecutors stating that Pastor allegedly accepting bags of cash in return for his favourable vote, or by taking payoffs from companies or individuals helping with development projects for the city, all within months of taking office.
Tyran Marshall, a friend of Pastor’s, is described by the feds as “a middleman”, arranging for payments to be made, and even setting up a nonprofit charity which Pastor could channel the money through.
It has been revealed that while posing as developers, undercover FBI agents used the latest in electronic surveillance devices, along with two insider whistleblowers, to carefully unravel Pastor’s “pay-to-play scheme”, that included among other things, a trip to Miami with a developer, and the offer of investment opportunities and jobs, with Pastor, constantly suggesting bribes in dollar amounts, and even directing the undetected undercover agents on how to pay those bribes.
U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, leading the prosecution against Jeff Pastor, said, “Sometimes, the cash was literally handed to Pastor, some of the things are so brazen”, adding that Pastor, who stands accused of taking $55,000 in bribes, at one point told the undercover agents that he really thought perhaps they should be paying him a monthly retainer of $200,000 for his services,
Pastor and Marshall stand accused of charges that include, money laundering, bribery, wire fraud, extortion, theft of honest services and, conspiracy, and if found guilty they face more than 20 years in prison.
Jeff Pastor is currently in federal custody, and could not be reached for any comment, but he has always denied ever taking any bribes. The case against him continues.