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Warrant pins new schemes on former St. Louis Alderman John Collins-Muhammad

The warrant alleges that the ex-alderman shut down a convenience store in his ward, then took cash bribes in exchange for allowing it to reopen.

ST. LOUIS — A search warrant unsealed Tuesday alleges that ex-St. Louis Alderman John Collins-Muhammad shut down a convenience store in his ward, then took cash bribes in exchange for allowing it to reopen.

The document, sent to Apple Inc. in March 2020 as an FBI agent sought Collins-Muhammad's phone records, outlines that and other information that was not part of indictments of Collins-Muhammad and two other ex-aldermen, Jeffrey Boyd and Lewis Reed, made public in June.

A lawyer for Collins-Muhammad, Joe Flees, declined to comment on information in the warrant.

Collins-Muhammad last month pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. Boyd and Reed, also accused of accepting cash bribes in exchange for advancing tax abatement legislation, pleaded guilty a few days later. The three are to be sentenced Dec. 6.

In explaining the need for Collins-Muhammad's phone records to federal Judge David Noce, an FBI agent, whose name is redacted, says in the warrant that Collins-Muhammad had alleged various city violations in the operation of the store, which wasn't identified.

The FBI learned of that situation from an informant, the document says. Media reports have previously identified the informant as Mohammed Almuttan.

A close associate of the informant acted as an intermediary, in which the store owner and operator paid $2,500 to Collins-Muhammad, the warrant says. After that Collins-Muhammad "caused the purported violations to be expunged, and (the owner) was allowed to reopen his store."

Collins-Muhammad also sought $5,000 in bribes, again through the informant, to keep open a store in his ward that had unpaid fines and possibly permitting issues, the warrant says.

The warrant also contains new information about the involvement of others in the alleged corruption.

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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