Deputy, accountant face 88 federal counts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 8, 2010



NEW ORLEANS – A lieutenant with the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office and an Ama area accountant, whom authorities say was his wife at the time, were charged Thursday in an 88 count indictment for allegedly filing false federal tax returns using the names of inmates being held at the parish jail and collecting more than $800,000, according to a release from U.S Attorney Jim Letten’s office.

Lt. Warren LeBeauf Jr., 42, and Tamara Scott-Landry, 36, both of Ama, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false and fraudulent tax returns in 2005 and 2006 using the names of prison inmates. The release said Scott-Landry was also charged with 87 counts including filing false claims, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to the indictment, at the time of the alleged incidents, Scott-Landry worked as a tax preparer under the name Scott’s Accounting Services, while LeBeauf was an employee of the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office who had access to inmates’ personal information.

The indictment alleged that LeBeauf abused his position and exceeded his authority with the Sheriff’s Office by requesting and collecting the names, birthdates, Social Security numbers and other personal information of several inmates to be used on false tax returns. The release said LeBeauf obtained the information through the Louisiana Law Enforcement Telecommunications System.

Investigators said LeBeauf allegedly accessed the database at least 196 times between April and June of 2005 to obtain the information. He then gave the information to Scott-Landry so that she could file the false returns in the names of the inmates. The returns were filed between May 2005 and February 2006 and Scott-Landry collected refunds totaling $813,183, according to the indictment.

If convicted, Scott-Landry and LeBeauf each face a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on the conspiracy charge. Scott-Landry also faces an additional 25 years of prison for the remaining 87 counts.

According to a release from the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, LeBeauf, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1989, has been suspended without pay pending the results of the criminal proceedings. St. Charles Sheriff Greg Champagne said in a statement that his office has been in full cooperation with Letten’s investigation over the past several months.

“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,” Champagne said in a statement.