On March 29 Judge Thomas Kliebert of 23rd Judicial District Court rendered a $200,000 judgment against embattled Sorrento Councilman Randy Anny awarding that amount to Danny Picou pursuant to a promissory note executed by Anny on June 19, 2012. The Court did not believe Anny’s affirmative defense, failure of consideration, based on the assertion that Picou had never “loaned” Anny the money. The judgment comes as Anny and his personal lawyer, Roy Maughan, Jr., defend against felony charges of Theft and Forgery alleging they pocketed $77,500 for sewer work in the Town of Sorrento that was never performed.
In his reasons for judgment Kliebert noted that in August of 2010 Picou and Anny “worked together to develop barge fleeting, stone offloading, dirt and sand stockpiling, and trucking operations” based in St. James Parish on the Mississippi River. Picou invested considerable “time and money for the benefit of Mr. Anny in connection with these ventures.”
Picou asserted that Anny executed the promissory note to ensure repayment “for his time, labor, and funds invested should the venture fail” (which it ultimately did). Anny urged the failure of consideration defense based upon his claim that Picou never actually put up any money toward the venture which was abandoned due to Anny’s inability to lease certain property in St. James targeted for the venture. According to Anny, he executed the lease for acreage on the Mississippi River from the Estate of Augustine “Justin” Picou but the agreement failed when an heir opposed the lease agreement.
According to Anny he agreed to put up his own $200,000 along with Picou and James Moses to capitalize the operations which never got off the ground. Earlier in 2012 Anny and Moses attempted to lease a baseball park to the Town of Sorrento which would have “deposited” $75,000 never to have been returned to the town. Then controlled by acting mayor, Randy Anny, a unanimous Town Council voted to execute that lease before public outcry nixed the deal.
Anny claimed the promissory note he executed in favor of Danny Picou “was simply a tool used to boost Mr. Picou’s ‘asset portfolio’ to submit to his banker” and secure Picou’s $200,000 contribution to operating capital. Since the St. James property lease fell through the venture was abandoned and Picou never put up the money. Judge Kliebert did not go for it.
Picou proved that $450,000 had been invested by him and/or his solely-owned and operated company, D-Land, LLC. There was an “inflow” of $235,000 but that left $215,000 which Picou provided Anny. Anny’s claim that he “refunded in excess of $200,000 to Picou” was unproven. The Court also found that Picou “pooled $275,010 together (including $90,000 of his own funds) to satisfy various obligations” of Anny before execution of the June 19, 2012 promissory note.
Whitney Bank had seized certain of Anny’s property on the Mississippi River in St. James. JP Morgan Chase had seized Anny’s Sorrento home in April of 2012
Anny, who was reelected to Sorrento’s Town Council without opposition recently, was represented by his criminal co-defendant’s law firm with James Maughan his attorney of record in the proceedings. In addition to Theft and Forgery (3 counts) Anny faces Malfeasance in Office and Prohibited Fee Splitting charges due to his status as an elected official.
According to a June 16, 2016 Bill of Indictment Anny and Maughan (Roy, Jr.) submitted three forged bids for “Sewer Work in the Town of Sorrento” on June 25, 2012, work which was never accomplished. Then mayor, Wilson Longanecker, Jr., was on leave of absence and Anny was Sorrento’s acting mayor. He signed a check drawn on Sorrento’s account in the amount of $77,500 purported to be the cost of fictitious sewer work. The indictment goes on to accuse Anny and Maughan of converting the check on July 6, 2012.
Anny and Maughan (Roy, Jr.) are also co-defendants in the civil action filed by the Town of Sorrento in July of 2015 in the attempt to recover the $77,500. The amount was never appropriated by the former Town Council which included Milton “Needlenose” Vicknair, John Wright, Jason Adams, and Marvin Martin.
Only Anny and Martin were reelected in 2013 (Martin did not qualify in 2017). Anny is scheduled to be sworn into another term in July.
In August 2015 Anny and his wife, Barbara, were indicted on federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges. That indictment accused them of filing a false claim in 2010 alleging their 26-foot boat and trailer sustained oil damage in the BP oil spill disaster.
The charges were dismissed against Anny after his wife confessed to sole responsibility for the fraudulent claims.