Serge Mouchart

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Serge Mouchart
Order: 23rd Prefect of Saint-Onge
Term of Office: 1 Vendémiaire CLXXXIII - 5 Sans-culottide CCIV (9/23/1974 - 9/22/1996)
Predecessor: X
Successor: Gilles DuBois
Date of birth: 20 Thermidor CXXXV (8 August, 1927)
Date of death: None
Place of birth:Avoyelles, Saint-Onge, Louisianne
Profession: Lawyer, Politician
Political Party: Mouvement Républicain et Citoyen (M.R.C.)
Relgious Affiliation: Catholic


Biography

Prefectoral Administration

Lost to Gilles DuBois by a slim-margin, although public opinion against him quickly turned, once the scandals of his time in office surfaced.

Scandals

Following his record three terms of office, details of Mouchart's misdeeds came forward quite quickly. A chronological study of events shows how Mouchart began simply, accepting minor bribes from Florida-Caribbea and Tejas. Mostly these bribes were to allow passage of Tejan and Floridian goods through Louisiannan customs, a practice that was legally sanctioned until Marie-Claire Gildersleeve's term of office.

Despite the legal support, Mouchart regularly accepted bribes above and beyond the legally stipulated limit. When questioned about the bribes at the time, Mouchart hid behind the claim "It was illegal for them to give so much, but not for me to receive it."

He was also found to be an active property speculator, investing in a financial district that he was originally told would be called "Place Mouchart." This project was torpedoed by the municipal council of New Orleans. The primary real estate agent and bank officers involved in the project were found dead shortly thereafter, and involvement of le Pègre was suspected.

This was later proven true, as evidence of Mouchart's vast gambling debts. Despite his prowess that he so often demonstrated for the press, Mouchart's string of losses during his final term of office lead to significant financial debts, which in turn lead him to embezzle some 17 million louisians.

A senior staffer had been implicated in charges of embezzlement during Mouchart's first term of office, however Mouchart avoided direct implication. This later surfaced during his second term when Claude Vidrine, a former associate of Mouchart leveled allegations of embezzlement and other misdeeds. This never came to court, however Vidrine's claims were proven to be of questionable veracity. A "tell-all" book was in progress, and was to be published by a Mobilean publishing house when Vidrine was murdered in broad daylight on the courthouse steps in Shrèveport. The publishing house in Mobile proceeded with publication of the book in 1995, entitled À Vos Ordres. During the 1998 investigation, Mouchart was implicated in the killing, having contributed 25,000 louisians toward the fee from the Pègre for the contract killing.

In 1977 his wife Eliane was indicted on charges of bribery. She was sentenced to prison and served 4 of her 15 years before being killed in a fight. Investigations in 1998 of Mouchart's misdeeds revealed that he had bribed key witnesses and the Pègre had killed an incooperative judge.

Mouchart was indicted in 1997, with ongoing investigations continuing to the present. Audio and video surveillance and transcripts revealed some of the depth of Mouchart's misdeeds, tarnishing the reputation of Edouard Bellamont, owner of the New Orleans Acadiens, who admitted to paying Mouchart some 650,000 louisians in exchange for his assistance in securing a casino license.

Mouchart was found guilty on 19 of 24 counts, including racketeering, extortion, mail fraud, and wire fraud; his son Stefan was also convicted on 19 counts. "I did nothing wrong as a governor, even if you would think the verdict speaks otherwise." Mouchart also said to the press as he entered prison "I will be a model prisoner, as I have been a model citizen". Failing health moved Mouchart to Beauséjour Medical Center in Paris-sur-Mizouri in 2002.

In 2005 a dispensation was granted from the Pope for Mouchart's divorce from his second wife, as the Pope felt she had "suffered enough". Two months later the former Mme. Mouchart was arrested for threatening a gendarme in Port Barré, screaming "Don't you know who I am"?

Mouchart is scheduled for release in 2011, however his failing health may mean that he will not see his release date. He is writing his memoires in prison, and the same Mobilean publishing company that published À Vos Ordres have optioned the manuscript, and plans are in the works to publish both as a marketing ploy.

Preceded by:
X
Fno.jpg
Prefect of Saint-Onge
Succeeded by:
Gilles DuBois.
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