Sentencing of former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, who pleaded guilty in May to accepting bribes, has been delayed until Sept. 5. Lasseter, her son John Fanning and Carl “Skip” Cain of Flowery Branch had been scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 6 in federal district court in Atlanta. Their sentencing hearings will now occur at 2 p.m. on the new date.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta had filed a motion July 20 for at least a 30-day continuance of the defendants’ sentencing to facilitate matters relating to their cooperation with the government’s ongoing investigation into corruption in Gwinnett County. The request was granted by the Atlanta Division of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The order for continuance was signed July 23 by Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr.
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Judge Pannell will preside over their sentencing hearings in Courtroom 2307.
Lasseter pleaded guilty May 31 in the court to accepting $36,500 in bribes during 2011 from an FBI agent posing as a South Florida real estate developer. The bribes supposedly were in exchange for Lasseter's support of a proposed real estate development on Boggs Road. She faces a sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Fanning, 34, of Dacula and Cain, 65, pleaded guilty to participating in the bribery scheme and to drug trafficking.
Cain acted as a “bagman” for Lasseter and Fanning, arranging the bribes and setting up meetings where the payments were made. Fanning and Cain each laundered $10,000 in purported drug money and also acted as drug couriers for what they believed was cocaine in a FBI sting operation.
Fanning and Cain could each receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the bribery charge. They each face a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for drug trafficking. The maximum sentence for drug trafficking is 40 years and a fine of $5 million.
Lasseter, Fanning and Cain were released pending sentencing after each posted $10,000 signature bonds.
A former long-time mayor of Duluth, Lasseter resigned from the Gwinnett County Commission May 31. She represented Duluth, Suwanee and Sugar Hill on the commission.
Lasseter had previously announced she would not seek re-election, citing health and personal reasons. Her first four-year term on the commission would have expired at the end of 2012.
A special election to fill her remaining term on the commission has been scheduled for Nov. 6, 2012.