Chris Roberts issues statement ahead of first court appearance today

Chris Miller
May 20, 2019 - 1:39 pm

Former Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts' first court appearance is set for later this afternoon. He is accused in a 32-page indictment of 29 counts involving fraud and tax evasion.

Roberts today released a statement that reads:

"The greatest honor I had was representing the people for 21 years. The biggest sacrifice anyone in a demanding profession makes and accepts with the territory is not being available to your family. I am at peace with my decision and have enjoyed the personal time the last few weeks I have missed out on my entire adult life.

"Nothing in this world outweighs watching your children grow. I count my blessings everyday from being spared a fate that many in this region were not able to beat. As I have said before, the sun will shine again."

Investigators spent two years looking into the former councilman's finances.

The charges state that Roberts, in 2013, was hired by the widow of a Terrytown-based landscaping company owner to handle the company's business affairs. According to the indictment, Roberts began defrauding the company by writing checks to himself on the company bank account, then claiming in company records that the withdrawals were legitimate.

Prosecutors say among things Roberts bought with the illegally-obtained money was a 2.01-carat diamond engagement ring.

The indictment also accuses Roberts of failing to report substantial amounts of income between 2010 and 2016. The U.S. Attorney's Office said when Roberts learned of the investigation in 2017, he filed amended returns for those years that showed significant increases in his income, but still underreported his earnings.

Roberts resigned from the council last month.

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