John Katopodis sentenced to 3 years, 10 months in prison

Gregory John Katopodis (Photo Source: Shelby County Jail)
Gregory John Katopodis (Photo Source: Shelby County Jail)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Former Birmingham City Councilman and Jefferson County Commissioner John Katopodis was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison Friday. Katopodis also has to pay $166,000.

A federal jury convicted Katopodis of stealing $160,000 through a charity he co-founded to help disadvantaged children.  Prosecutors had asked a judge to sentence Katopodis to 6 years.  "John Katopodis' selfish, egregious, and inexcusable conduct deserves the full measure of punishment," prosecutors argued in a court filing this week.

According to court testimony during his trial, Katopodis formed the "Computer Help for Kids" program to refurbish computers for children in low-income households.  The government argued that he submitted false financial statements to the Jefferson County Commission.

Katopodis was elected to the Birmingham City Council in 1977, and to the Jefferson County Commission in 1986.

Ironically, Katopodis formed the computer charity with help from Larry Langford and Richard Scrushy.  Langford, Katopodis' longtime friend, was sentenced to prison last week on an unrelated corruption case.  Richard Scrushy is currently serving a federal prison term on yet another unrelated corruption case.