A former Prichard city official who admitted to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from taxpayers will spend a year and one day in federal prison and repay $200,000 to the city.
Last week United States District Judge Kristi DuBose sentenced James Antuan Blackman, the former chief of staff to Prichard Mayor Jimmy Gardner, for one count of theft from city programs that receive federal funding and one count of money laundering.
Blackman was arrested on state criminal charges in 2018 shortly after being terminated by the city and went on to publicly apologize and plead guilty. He was indicted by federal authorities last year, shortly after procedural issues in his pending state criminal case made him unlikely to see any jail time.
In February, Blackman pleaded guilty in federal court as well. As part of his sentence, DuBose ordered Blackman to undergo three years of supervised release and pay $200,000 in restitution to the city.
According to facts admitted in Blackman’s guilty plea, between November 2016 and January 2018, he used his position with the city of Prichard to enrich himself by diverting approximately $200,000 of city money and property to himself.
To accomplish this, he falsified invoices to the city of Prichard, deposited checks made payable to the city and other entities into his own personal accounts and used his position to divert properties owned by the city for his own personal benefit.
Blackman also laundered money by initiating a wire transfer of approximately $39,200.36 in criminal proceeds that was used to purchase some of those properties.
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