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Former warden and ex-wife sentenced for stealing taxpayer money

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jun 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-17 16:39:08-04

The former warden of the Avoyelles prison and his ex-wife were sentenced to federal prison today in connection with their guilty pleas in a corruption case against them.

Nathan Burl Cain, son of former Angola Warden Burl Cain, and Nathan’s ex-wife, Tonia Bandy Cain, pleaded guilty in the case against them. Nathan Cain pleaded guilty to wire fraud in the midst of his March trial. Tonia Cain had pleaded guilty months before, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. 

U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell sentenced Nathan Cain to 38 months in prison and Tonia Cain to eight months in prison. They also must serve two years of supervised release and pay more than $42,000 in restitution.

The indictment against them alleges that Nathan Cain conspired with his ex-wife, who served as the manager of the business office of the facility, to use Louisiana Department of Corrections bank cards to purchase personal items, while misrepresenting that such items were purchased for official business.

The bank cards were used to purchase furniture, pet supplies, toilet paper, gun parts, Christmas decorations, yard tools, tires, a pressure cooker that was given as a gift to a third party, and other items.

Additionally, Nathan Cain commissioned the construction of a house on prison grounds for himself and did not bid the construction as required by law. Instead, purchases for the construction were made on bank cards structured in a manner to avoid detection by the Louisiana Department of Corrections.

“Our public officials have a duty to uphold the law and act in the interests of those they serve,” Joseph stated. “This prosecution and sentence of imprisonment should send a clear message: corruption by our public servants will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I hope the resolution of this case serves to repair our citizen’s trust in the many public servants who faithfully and honestly fulfill their duties every day. I want to thank Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street’s office and the FBI for investigating this case and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Luke Walker and David Ayo for their work prosecuting this matter.”

“The people of Louisiana are absolutely fed up with corruption by public officials,” said Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street. “The sentences handed down today should make it clear to anyone who abuses the public trust and corrupts their office for personal gain: no matter who you are or what connections you think you
have, you had better be prepared to go to jail. The Louisiana OIG remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to make sure of it. Thanks again to United States Attorney David Joseph and his staff for their outstanding professional work in prosecuting this matter.”

The FBI and the Louisiana Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Luke Walker and David J. Ayo prosecuted the case.