Former Central Falls Mayor Charles Moreau could be freed as early as Friday from federal prison, according to a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha.
Moreau was convicted of bribery and has served 13 months of his 2-year sentence in a Maryland federal prison. Since his conviction, a federal appeals court has ruled in an unrelated case involving a businessman and a legislator in Puerto Rico. That ruling said federal law does not ``criminalize gratuities’’ and dismissed the charges against both men.
In September, 2012 Moreau resigned his office and agreed to a guilty plea to a felony count of federal program fraud. Moreau admitted that he took about $20,000 in gratuities from a friend and political ally, Michael Bouthillette. The payoffs included a new furnace in a home owned by Moreau in Central Falls and thousands of dollars in work on the mayor's family residence in Lincoln.
In return for his early prison release, Moreau is expected to plead guilty Friday before federal Judge Jack McConnell in Providence. Under the plea arrangement, Moreau will spend the next three years on probation.