ST. LOUIS – A trial date has been set in the federal bribery and corruption case against former St. Louis Aldermen John Collins-Muhammad, Lewis Reed, and Jeffrey Boyd.

The trial will start on September 12 at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 14-North. The defendants will have the opportunity to accept any plea agreements on August 23 at 3 p.m.

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. All three former aldermen have pleaded not guilty to charges. The indictment is the culmination of a two-year investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis.

A federal grand jury charged Reed with two counts of bribery and Collins-Muhammad with two counts of bribery and one count of honest services bribery/wire fraud. Boyd was also charged with two counts of bribery and faces a separate indictment for two counts of wire fraud, alleging he sought $22,000 from his insurance company for damages to vehicles he falsely claimed to own.

Collins-Muhammad 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.