Reggie indicted in wire fraud, money laundering scheme

Mandeville businessman Raymond Christopher Reggie, former brother-in-law of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy and son of former Crowley City Judge Edmund Reggie, faces federal fraud allegations for the second time in eight years.

In an indictment made public Wednesday in Baton Rouge, Reggie, 51, is accused of five counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering for an alleged scheme in which he used his advertising agency to steal more than $1.1 million from car dealerships that were among his clients.

Victims included members of Super Chevy Dealers of Baton Rouge and Supreme Automotive Group, according to the indictment obtained by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rene I. Salomon.

Supreme Auto Group’s members have dealerships in Gonzales, Plaquemine and other locations in southeast Louisiana.

The indictment alleges the scheme extended from January 2009 until July 2012.

Reggie, who once was a confidant of former President Bill Clinton, essentially gave himself a $1.1 million raise by billing the dealerships for advertising that was never purchased, according to the indictment.

Reggie’s advertising firm is identified in the indictment as “The Research Department d/b/a Nexlevel Group.”

Reggie declined to comment Wednesday.

Reggie raised millions of dollars for Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, and he attended Christmas parties at the White House during Clinton’s presidency.

The Baton Rouge case was investigated by the IRS, acting U.S. Attorney Walt Green said Wednesday.

“Anyone who steals from their clients ... will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted,” Green added.

In September, Reggie was booked by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office for allegedly keeping $600,000 that had been paid by car dealerships for advertising that he never purchased.

That case is pending.

Reggie pleaded guilty in 2005 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank frauds that cost Hibernia National Bank of New Orleans $3.4 million — Capital One bought Hibernia that year — and Biz Capital of Metairie $3.3 million. He was sentenced in that case by U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier in New Orleans to 12 months and one day in prison. Barbier also ordered Reggie to pay full restitution to both victims.

Three years before that conviction, Reggie was approached by FBI agents looking into allegations he had committed bank fraud. He was not immediately charged, though, and he began cooperating in an investigation of David Rosen, Hillary Clinton’s key fundraiser in her successful campaign to become a U.S. senator from New York.

Rosen was acquitted on allegations of campaign improprieties.

Edmund Reggie, Raymond Reggie’s father, has close ties to the Kennedy family and persuaded John F. Kennedy to make an appearance in Crowley before the 1960 election that sent Kennedy to the White House.

The elder Reggie later was convicted of a felony unrelated to any political campaigns.

In 1993, he pleaded guilty in Lafayette to a charge that he misapplied funds of his failed Acadia Savings and Loan.

U.S. District Judge John Shaw sentenced Reggie to four months of home confinement, fined him $30,000 and placed him on probation for three years.

Acadia Savings lost more than $40 million when it collapsed in 1987.

Edmund Reggie headed John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in Louisiana.

He served as executive counsel during the second term of former Gov. Edwin Edwards.

His daughter, Victoria Reggie, married Ted Kennedy in 1992. She was widowed three years ago this month.