Lasseter's Son Sentenced to Prison for His Role in Corruption Scandal
Former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, 64, was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison on bribery charges earlier this month.
Dacula resident John Fanning, son of former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, has been sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for public corruption and drug offenses.
Fanning and Carl “Skip” Cain, 65, of Flowery Branch, an associate of Lasseter’s, entered guilty pleas in connection to the bribery scheme and to drug trafficking in May. Cain was also sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. Earlier this month, Shirley Lasseter was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison on bribery charges.
“Before law enforcement stopped them, these defendants sold the office of a Gwinnett County Commissioner to individuals whom they believed to be drug traffickers and tried to become drug traffickers themselves,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Yates in a released statement. “They showed a shocking indifference to prior law enforcement efforts to root out corruption in Gwinnett County and the dangers to the community posed by the illegal drug trade. Today’s sentences show that those who violate the public trust and the law will be taken off the streets and brought to justice.”
Lasseter, a former Duluth mayor, was elected to the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners in 2009. In 2011, she appointed her son Fanning to the Gwinnett County Zoning Appeals Board. Fanning, who operates a landscaping business, along with Lasseter and Cain agreed to sell Lasseter's vote in favor of a proposed real estate development. The agreement was made with an undercover agent of the FBI posing as a businessman.
Cain arranged the bribes and set up the meetings for the payments to be made, according to the United States Attorney's Office.
"In multiple meetings, Lasseter and Fanning told the undercover agent that Lasseter’s approval and vote regarding the proposed development was for sale. They also told the undercover agent that Fanning could use his position as a member of the Zoning Appeals Board to help secure any necessary approvals or variances," the press release stated.
During the undercover investigation, the following arrangements were made in return for Lasseter's approval and official vote:
- Lasseter received a total of $36,500 in cash. Lasseter confirmed to the undercover agent that she would give her official approval and vote for the proposed development each time she received a cash payment.
- Cain was paid a total of $10,000 to arrange the meetings between Lasseter, Fanning and the undercover agent.
- Fanning was to receive an ownership stake in a business to be located in the proposed development.
- Fanning and Cain also each laundered $10,000 cash and acted as couriers delivering what they believed to be cocaine and drug money. They were taken into custody before they could deliver the fake cocaine.
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