Suspended Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors in which he will plead guilty to money-laundering, according to court records and his attorney, Johnny McCray Jr.
Eggelletion is scheduled to enter the plea at the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building & U.S. Southern District Courthouse in West Palm Beach during an appearance scheduled for 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10.
Sources familiar with the case say Eggelletion will have to serve no more than five years in federal prison, and will pay no more than $250,000 in fines. The same sources also said that any parole or probation time would be set by the judge at Eggelletion’s sentencing, which will be scheduled at a later date.
Eggelletion will not be required to cooperate in any other investigations, or testify against any of his co-defendants – Broward businessmen Ron Owens and Joel Williams and Bahamian attorney Sidney Cambridge.
In exchange for Eggelletion’s guilty plea, prosecutors will close their other investigations into his lobbying activities, and will not add more counts to the money-laundering case.
“We do have a court date and the records speak for themselves,” McCray said. He would not provide any other details.
Eggelletion was arrested in September after a five-year federal corruption probe in which FBI agents posed as investors seeking to launder proceeds from an overseas investment scheme through Bahamian banks.
Owens, who once owned a chain of Church’s chicken restaurants in South Florida, was charged in the alleged scheme along with Williams and Cambridge. All have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Investigators said that Eggelletion received multiple cash payments each time the group laundered money, with the payments totaling $18,200.
Gov. Charlie Crist suspended Eggelletion, 60, from office after his September arrest, and in November appointed Dania Beach Commissioner Albert Jones to replace him.
If and when Eggelletion enters a guilty plea, he will be permanently removed from office, and a special election will be scheduled.
Jones, a Republican, said he will run for the permanent seat in the overwhelmingly black and Democratic district when his term expires in 2012. The Rev. Allen Jackson, former Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Carlton Moore and Lauderhill City Commissioner Margaret Bates have filed to run against Jones in 2012. They are now expected to compete in the special election.