FBI Raids Hotel of GOP and Dem Donor Fouad Zeton—Who Blames ‘Dirty People’
FBI agents and other federal authorities executed warrants at the Magnolia Mansion Hotel at 2127 Prytania Street in New Orleans on Wednesday.
Several large packages were seen being removed from the property, which is owned by former boxer Fouad Zeton.
It is unclear why the FBI were carrying out a raid at Zeton’s hotel. The agents were reported to have spent about three hours at the property.
Zeton told WDSU-TV that “the truth will prevail” but did not give any further details about the search at his property.
Speaking to NOLA, Zenton added: “This is political. It’s political.
“I have no idea. It’s dirty people looking for something…I’m clear. I’m good. I have nothing to worry at all.”
Mal Thompson, a tourist from Florida who was staying at Magnolia Mansion at the time, told WDSU: “FBI guys with moving boxes is a first for us. This is a bit of a first for us.”
A spokesperson for the local FBI office confirmed to NOLA that agents “conducted law enforcement activity” on the block where the Magnolia Mansion Hotel is located, but declined to provide further details.
Zeton has given campaign donations to candidates from both major parties and has been a fixture at political events down the years.
As reported by NOLA, Zeton has given $15,500 in campaign donations to Louisiana politicians since 2009, with The Magnolia Mansion LLC donating $62,000 over the past few years.
In 2017, Zeton got on stage at the election night party celebrating Democrat LaToya Cantrell’s victory in 2017, becoming New Orleans’ first female mayor.
Zeton held a boxing championship belt above his head before he was ushered off, reported NOLA.
Cantrell’s spokesperson Latonya Norton told WDSU that the mayor “has no comment at this time” when asked about the raid at Zeton’s hotel.
Zeton also attended the celebration after Gov. John Bel Edwards won his re-election in 2019.
More recently, Zeton appeared on stage with Troy Carter in April while the Democrat lawmaker was giving his victory speech in the 2nd U.S. congressional district election.
Victoria Coulon, a spokesperson for Carter, told WDSU Investigates that Zeton was “not invited on stage and “crashed” the event. Coulon added that Carter did not take campaign contributions from Zeton during his campaign.
The FBI and the Magnolia Mansion Hotel have been contacted for comment.