Ladners plead guilty to Katrina clean-up fraud

BAY ST. LOUIS — Former Hancock County road manager Roger Ladner has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery involving federal money for Katrina ditch-cleaning projects.

His wife, Sharon, has pleaded guilty to falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Both entered pleas yesterday before U.S. District Judge Halil Sul Ozerden in Gulfport.

Later, Donald Ray Ladner and Billy Wayne Ladner each pleaded guilty to theft of government funds in the kickback scheme involving their brother.

All four Ladners are set for sentencing Nov. 14 before Ozerden. All are free on bond.

Roger Ladner faces up to five years in prison, while his wife faces up to 20 years. Donald and Billy Ladner both face up to 10 years in prison on their charges.

In addition, Roger and Sharon Ladner have agreed to forfeit more than $1 million in money they received in kickbacks.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved cleanup contracts alleged awarded to the then-road manager’s close relatives in the wake of the 2005 hurricane.

All four family members were charged with money laundering through bribery involving federal funds and conspiracy to defraud the government.

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