Witness says he disguised $50K bribe to Nagin

By By KEVIN McGILL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former investment banker serving prison time for a New Jersey fraud scheme said he helped arrange and disguise a $50,000 bribe to former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

Clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, Michael McGrath told jurors the 2008 bribe was funneled through his daughter's trust account. He said it was in return for the mayor backing projects of interest to a company called Home Solutions. McGrath's testimony Monday backed up earlier testimony from Frank Fradella, the former Home Solutions chief executive.

McGrath was a board member for Home Solutions. His New Jersey conviction is unrelated to the Nagin case.

Nagin's trial on 21 criminal counts stems from his two terms as mayor that ended in 2010. The trial is expected to last into next week.

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