ST. LOUIS – John Collins-Muhammad, one of three former St. Louis City Board of Aldermen members indicted in a bribery scheme, has been sentenced to less than four years in federal prison.

Collins-Muhammad is one of three former St. Louis Aldermen facing prison time for their roles in the bribery and pay-to-play case. Former Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed and ex-Alderman Jeffrey Boyd are also facing sentencing.

Federal investigators say the former aldermen took cash to help secure tax abatements for a business developer. The feds say they have hundreds of recorded phone calls and thousands of text messages.

Collins-Muhammad, the former 21st Ward alderman, is accused of accepting bribes and a free car to help a small business owner get approval to build a gas station/convenience store in his ward and receive tax breaks worth several hundred thousand dollars, in direct violation of city and state ordinances. The small business owner, unidentified in the indictment, also sought Boyd’s assistance to buy and redevelop a parcel of land in Boyd’s ward.

Beginning in January 2020, Collins-Muhammad accepted $13,500 in cash, $3,000 in campaign contributions, a Volkswagen CC sedan, and an Apple iPhone 11 from John Doe.

“A sentencing memo from the U.S. Attorney’s office reads, “This case presents a picture of greed, pure and simple. … These defendants sold their elected offices in exchange for cash bribes, campaign donations, and other things of value with total disregard for the best interests of their constituents – the real victims in this case.”

This is a developing story. Check back for more information on the scheduled sentences of Reed and Boyd.