One man who had retired from a Louisiana parish sheriff’s office as a colonel has been accused of a fraud crime. Specifically, the man is said to have taken money from private companies that were paying for security services they never received. The man accused of white collar crime is 69 years old.
According to authorities, several entities, including sporting events, Mardi Gras krewes and festivals, paid the man to coordinate security for them. The man staffed these events with off-duty officers. However, he reportedly overbilled his business clients and falsely listed on their invoices the names of people who had never worked the security details. These individuals have been referred to by prosecutors as ghost employees.
Officials said the man sent the fake invoices over fax or email, which meant he was involved in interstate commerce, to which federal legislation applies. Other employees in the sheriff’s office were also reportedly involved in this scheme. The alleged scheme began in 2009 and ended in January of 2014.
The man accused of white collar crime has been charged in a bill of information with conspiring to commit wire fraud. A person is charged through such a bill only if the bill waives the person’s right to be indicted by a grand jury. This is something that hardly ever happens unless a plea agreement is in the works. It was not clear whether a deal was being negotiated in this particular criminal case. The man’s criminal defense in Louisiana will ultimately push for an outcome that is in the man’s best interests and make sure that all of the man’s applicable rights are honored.
Source: nola.com, “Ex-Orleans Parish Sheriff’s colonel charged in off-duty detail scheme”, Emily Lane, March 25, 2016