Police lieutenant, ex-wife charged with tax fraud
A lieutenant with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and his ex-wife are charged with filing false federal tax returns using the names of inmates at the Orleans Parish prison, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
The two allegedly collected $810,183 in tax refunds.
Lt. Warren LeBeauf Jr., 42, was married to accountant Tamara Scott-Landry, 36, when the crimes reportedly occurred between 2005 and 2006. According to the indictment, LeBeauf abused his position and authority by running the names of prisoners through the Louisiana Law Enforcement Telecommunications System in order to get personal information such as social security numbers and dates of birth.
He then provided the information to Scott-Landry so that she could file tax returns and receive the refunds.
LeBeauf and Scott-Landry were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false and fraudulent tax returns.
Scott-Landry faces an additional 87 counts, including filing false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
LeBeauf, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1989, has been placed on suspension without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
If convicted, Scott-Landry and LeBeauf each face a maximum of 10 years in jail for the conspiracy charge, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Scott-Landry also faces a maximum of five years in jail for each of the 29 counts of filing false tax returns, 20 years for each of the 29 counts of wire fraud and a mandatory two years to run consecutive to any sentence received for the counts of aggravated identity theft.
She also faces a $250,000 fine for each count and five years of supervised relief.
“IRS Criminal Investigation stands ready to investigate anyone who would put a taxpayer at risk for a quick profit,” said Michael J. DePalma, special agent in charge of the New Orleans field office, IRS Criminal Investigations. “Our special agents used their investigative and financial expertise to detect and hold accountable abusive tax return preparers who prepare returns which yield inflated and false refunds that the taxpayer is not entitled to receive.”
Letten and DePalma both offered their thanks to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Greg Champagne for providing “valuable assistance” in the investigation.
“The allegations are still ‘alleged,’ but we are extremely disappointed that one of our deputies has been charged by the federal government with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government in a tax fraud scheme involving his ex-wife who was a tax preparer,” Champagne said. “While we are disappointed with the alleged actions of one of our employees, this does not and should not reflect upon the dedication of the members of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office as a whole.”
The case is being investigated by the IRS and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys G. Dall Kammer and Jon Maestri.
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