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Lasseter Sentencing May be Delayed Until September

U.S. Attorney's Office seeking at least a 30-day continuance of sentencing for Shirley Lasseter and other defendants in bribery case to facilitate matters related to their cooperation into ongoing investigation of corruption in Gwinnett County.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Friday (July 20) filed a request in federal district court in Atlanta for at least a 30-day continuance of the sentencing hearing for former Gwinnett County Commissioner Shirley Lasseter, her son John Fanning, and Carl “Skip” Cain. The hearing is currently set for Aug. 6.

U.S. District Attorney Sally Quillian Yates and Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Gilfillan filed the motion for unopposed continuance in the Atlanta Division of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The court has not yet ruled on the motion to continue the sentencing hearing so it is not known yet whether the sentencing will occur on Aug. 6 or another date.

Lasseter pleaded guilty May 31 in the court to accepting $36,500 in bribes during 2011 from an FBI agent posing as a South Florida real estate developer to support a proposed real estate development on Boggs Road. She faces a sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Fanning, 34, of Dacula and Cain, 65, of Flowery Branch pleaded guilty to participating in the bribery scheme and to drug trafficking. Cain acted as a “bagman” for Lasseter and Fanning arranging the bribes and setting up meetings where the payments were made. Fanning and Cain each laundered $10,000 in purported drug money and also acted as drug couriers for what they believed was cocaine in a FBI sting operation.

Lasseter, Fanning and Cain were released pending sentencing after each posted $10,000 signature bonds.

The court was informed May 31 that the defendants were cooperating with the government’s ongoing investigation into corruption in Gwinnett County. “The government respectfully requests at least a 30 day continuance to facilitate matters related to the defendants’ cooperation,” according to the motion filed Friday. “The defendants do not oppose the motion.”

Fanning and Cain could each receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 on the bribery charge. They each face a mandatory minimum five-year sentence for drug trafficking. The maximum sentence for drug trafficking is 40 years and a fine of $5 million. 

Lasseter, a former long-time mayor of Duluth, resigned from the Gwinnett County Commission May 31. She represented Duluth, Suwanee and Sugar Hill on the commission. Lasseter had previously announced she would not seek re-election citing health and personal reasons. Her first four-year term on the commission would have expired at the end of 2012.

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