Former NO aviation director pleads guilty to obstruction
NEW ORLEANS – The former aviation director of New Orleans has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, after prosecutors said he used his position to hide from his insurance company that his wife’s luxury BMW wasn’t destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.
As part of a plea deal Hunter admitted that he tried to influence a federal witness testifying in the case against his wife, Shauna Hunter. She was also indicted by a grand jury for mail fraud.
Prosecutors claim she lied to her insurance company when she claimed in 2005 that her luxury BMW was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. The insurance company sent the couple more than $55,000 for the claim, but prosecutors said the couple kept using the vehicle and that Sean Hunter directed an airport employee to give him another brake tag that his wife put on the BMW.
Then in 2008 a pair of traffic tickets with pictures of the BMW running red lights was sent to their insurance company. Six months later, a New Orleans Police detective also found the BMW parked at the airport’s parking garage, and began an investigation with the help of the FBI.
As part of his plea agreement, Sean Hunter will be required to testify for federal prosecutors and faces up to ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years supervised release. His sentencing date was set for May 11, while his wife is due in court over her indictment on February 28.