Irvin Mayfield, partner sentenced to 18 months for bilking $1.3 million from New Orleans library foundation

BRAND-NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Grammy-winning trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and his organization partner Ronald Markham each was sentenced to 18 months in federal jail Wednesday (Nov. 3), almost a year after they pleaded guilty to a plan that defrauded the New Orleans Town Library Structure of $1.3 million.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey likewise bought the set to pay back $1.123 million in restitution, teach 500 hours of trainee music lessons and to serve 3 years of monitored release once their jail terms are finished. They were provided till Jan. 5 to report to jail.

The sentence culminates an impressive fall from grace for Mayfield, 43, who as soon as was the city’s ambassador for cultural and home entertainment tourist promo and a popular, precious figure in its post-Hurricane Katrina healing.

Zainey stated he thought about putting Mayfield behind bars for 2 years, however selected a much shorter sentence with the arrangement that the artist start working and paying restitution within 60 days of his jail release.

Federal district attorneys declared that Mayfield and his pianist/collaborator Markham utilized their positions as president or board members of the structure to divert more than $1.3 million in funds planned for the city’s town libraries into their own jobs and pockets through the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra that Mayfield established in 2002.

About $1 countless funds indicated to purchase books and assistance library workers and programs was guided towards the $10 million building expense of the New Orleans Jazz Market, the location on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard that acted as NOJO’s Central City base, district attorneys stated.

Other pilfered funds were utilized by the set to run and take a trip with their jazz orchestra, supplement their six-figure incomes and to support a luxurious way of life that consisted of glamorous hotel suites, Saks Fifth Opportunity shopping sprees and a brand-new trumpet for Mayfield plated in 24-carat gold, the court file stated.

The youth pals ran the grift in between August 2011 and January 2013, according to a federal grand jury’s December 2017 indictment.

With his track record in tatters following the indictment, Mayfield’s efficiency chances started to dry up. The Royal Sonesta hotel in the French Quarter ended Mayfield’s seven-year residency in July 2019 and eliminated his name from its Bourbon Street music location that had actually been called Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Play house.

Mayfield pleaded hardship in court and was designated federal public protector Claude Kelly as his legal counsel. Mayfield and Markham preserved their innocence for almost 3 years while under indictment, till they worked out a plea contract in July 2020. Mayfield and Markham pleaded guilty together last Nov. 10 to a single count each of conspiracy to dedicate wire and mail scams.

Each dealt with an optimal federal jail sentence of 5 years. However under regards to the plea offer, district attorneys accepted drop 23 other counts brought versus the offenders.

Mayfield and Markham still argued for leniency at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, objecting to some elements of the pre-sentencing report prepared for Zainey’s review.

“His sin was ego,” Kelly told the judge, “not greed.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dall Kammer implored the judge to impose the maximum five-year sentence, which he called “reasonable,” given the offenders’ conduct and victim.

“It would serve as an example of white-collar criminals not getting a slap on the wrist, instead getting jail time they deserve,” Kammer said.

After former NOPD superintendent Eddie Compass spoke on Mayfield’s behalf and victim impact letters were read to advise the judge on the damage the offenders’ conduct inflicted on the library system, Mayfield addressed the court.

“This is quite emotional,” Mayfield stated. “My hope today is that my family, friends, community and city can accept my apology. … Being taken away from my family would be the worst punishment of all.”

Zainey responded from the bench, “Why weren’t you thinking of this when you were violating the law? … The very libraries that helped you get your start are the ones you ripped off.

“You let people down. I’m happy you recognize that.”

Fox 8 press reporter Olivia Vidal added to this report.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.