Charlotte, NC Law Firm
704-714-1450
FREE CONSULTATION 24/7
Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina Building
Looking for a Charlotte Law Articles Lawyer Near You?
Call Today!
Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina Building

Patrick Cannon Pleads Guilty to Fraud

On Tuesday, former Charlotte mayor Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty to a federal corruption charge. The official title of the charge is “honest services wire fraud,” which basically means that Cannon accepted bribes in exchange for his political influence. You can see us debating Cannon’s plea deal on a local news station in the video clip below.

The plea agreement was signed in mid-May, but the details of the plea agreement were not released until Monday. As part of the agreement, Cannon appeared in court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to the single count of honest services wire fraud. He also agreed to cooperate with federal investigators as part of the plea agreement.

The Assistant US Attorney told the courtroom Tuesday that Cannon accepted seven bribes, the amounts of which totaled over $50,000, during a period which began January 2013 and lasted until February 2014. Most of the bribes were taken from FBI agents posing as out-of-town real estate agents.

Some other bribes were taken from a local businessman/strip club owner. According to prosecutors, Cannon began accepting bribes from the strip club owner in 2009, including a payment of $2,000 in 2013. In exchange for the money, Cannon offered to set up meetings between the strip club owner and city workers in connection with re-opening a club which had been closed due to the light rail extension.

While most of the period during which Cannon accepted the bribes was while he was with the City Council, in one instance in February 2014, prosecutors said Cannon accepted a bribe of $20,000 while in the mayoral office. His arrest came weeks later.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but Cannon could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As we discussed in our news clip, it is unlikely that he will serve this amount of prison time. More likely, in exchange for Cannon’s cooperation in identifying other names connected with the charges, a judge would reduce the sentence, perhaps to somewhere between three and six years. Before his plea agreement, Cannon faced three charges which carried a potential 50 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.

After entering his plea on Tuesday, Cannon left the courthouse on bond and addressed the media outside. This was his first public address since he was arrested and resigned the mayoral office in March. He admitted his guilt and apologized for betraying the trust of the people of Charlotte, saying “I regret having hurt the city that I love.”

Cannon was first elected to public office in 1993 when he was elected to the Charlotte City Council. He left public office in 2005 but returned to the City Council in 2009. He was elected as Charlotte mayor last November and was sworn in on December 2, 2013. On March 26, 2014, Cannon was arrested on public corruption charges and resigned office the same day. On June 3, 2014, Cannon pleaded guilty to a single federal corruption charge.

If you are in trouble with the law, visit www.rflaw.net to get legal help.

 

 

Additional Law Articles Articles

May 10, 2024
Traffic Lights to Flash Red at All Malfunctioning Intersections in North Carolina

Local news outlets report a significant update from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) concerning traffic signal malfunctions throughout the state. According to the NCDOT, all traffic signals will now default to flashing red in every direction during a malfunction, signaling all drivers and pedestrians to treat these intersections as all-way stops. The change […]

May 2, 2024
Expert Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Weigh in on North Carolina Laws

If you’ve recently been in a motorcycle accident, the chaos and uncertainty that follow can feel overwhelming. It's not just about the immediate physical injuries; the financial impact and legal intricacies can complicate your life when you least expect it. At Rosensteel Fleishman, we understand the turmoil and are here to help guide you through […]

June 29, 2023
The Critical Role of Professional Legal Aid in Charlotte's Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents in Charlotte, NC, paint a sobering picture. The city's bustling traffic, combined with North Carolina's diverse terrain, often results in challenging situations for motorcyclists. The high vulnerability of these riders leads to accidents that are, unfortunately, more severe than regular car accidents, affecting lives drastically. For the unprepared, these accidents can be a […]

June 9, 2022
Squatter's Rights in North Carolina: What's Illegal in Charlotte?

Squatters have rights in North Carolina only if they meet certain criteria. Otherwise, they could be considered trespassers and charged with a crime. Rosensteel Fleishman attorney Matthew Fleishman was interviewed by WCNC regarding homeowners rights in Charlotte, NC. https://www.wcnc.com/article/money/wheres-the-money-squatters-vacant-homes-charlotte-north-carolina-investigation-landlords-real-estate/275-8a31861e-0725-48f8-af9b-de00ec00c1f6

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram