Former pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Atlanta, and City of Atlanta Director of Human Services, Mitzi Bickers, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for accepting approximately $3 million in bribes, money laundering, and failing to disclose more than $600,000 in income on her tax return.
Bickers sold critical information to two businessmen which enabled them to secure contracts with the city for emergency snow removal, sidewalk repair and maintenance, and bridge reconstruction, totaling more than 15 million dollars. In addition to charging for the information up front, Bickers also had the men inflate their invoices to the city so they could give her kickbacks once they were paid.
In 2011 Bickers reported $58,896 in income on her tax return and received a refund of $3,924. That same year she received $600,000 in bribes and owed the IRS more than $200,000. The proceeds from the fraud scheme enabled Bickers to lead a lavish lifestyle that included purchasing a luxury SUV, jet skis, and a lakefront home, all of which she has been ordered to forfeit.
In addition to the prison sentence Bickers has been ordered to pay $2,955,106 in restitution to the City of Atlanta. She is currently appealing the court’s decision.