A few years ago, federal investigators began to probe then Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts’s finances. In May, a federal jury handed Roberts a 29-count indictment. Roberts, who resigned from the Council in April, pleaded not guilty to the crimes. If convicted, Roberts faces a maximum penalty of 475 years in prison and $6.2 million in fines.
Two scientists have been charged with attempting to steal valuable trade secrets from the Louisiana-based Water Institute of the Gulf. The Baton Rouge hydrology research facility develops computer models designed to determine how environmental changes could affect the Mississippi River Delta. The information is used to earn seven-figure contracts. The two men were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy and computer fraud charges on May 31. The indictments were sealed until the men were taken into custody on June 4. U.S. attorneys announced the indictments on June 5.