St. Charles Herald-Guide

Former St. Charles deputy charged with payroll fraud

By Jonathan Menard - May 17, 2013

A former St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s deputy whose arrest disgusted Sheriff Greg Champagne, has now been charged with six additional counts of payroll fraud.

William Marciante was arrested in 2011 on various charges related to forged seatbelt citations he allegedly issued while he was working grant-funded overtime.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the situation came to light when a resident received a letter stating that she had a bench warrant for failure to appear in court to pay a traffic citation. The resident told police that she had never been stopped for a seatbelt violation.

During an investigation, detectives say they discovered that between February and May 2011, a total of 21 citations were issued by Marciante for seatbelt violations in the names of unsuspecting individuals who were never stopped for these violations. In each instance, Marciante worked overtime made possible through grant funds from the Louisiana Highway Safety Administration to promote seatbelt safety and enforcement.

Champagne said that evidence discovered during a search warrant of Marciante’s patrol vehicle and from reviewing his computer and dash camera video activity shows that traffic stops for the 21 victims did not take place, and in some instances, Marciante did not work during the times he issued the citations and submitted overtime.

Police say that handwriting analysis confirmed that Marciante actually forged the victim’s signatures on several of the tickets.

Marciante is currently awaiting trial to deal with five counts of forgery, five counts of injuring public records and five counts of malfeasance in office. Because of the Sheriff’s Office’s connection to the case, the state has taken over prosecution.

After their investigation, Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has filed six additional charges against Marciante for payroll fraud because Marciante received compensation for services he never rendered.