Ex-St. Charles officer and ex-wife plead to tax fraud

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011



NEW ORLEANS – A former lieutenant with the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office and an Ama area accountant, who authorities say was his wife at the time, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a scam to file 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.

Warren LeBeauf Jr., 42, and Tamara Scott-Landry, 36, both of Ama, entered their pleas Monday before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. LeBeauf pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, while Scott-Landry pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in addition to the conspiracy charge.

According to court documents, the two admitted to filing false and fraudulent tax returns in 2005 and 2006 using the names of prison inmates. At the time of the 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 through a computer terminal at the parish’s 911 call center.

According to the release, 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 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 court documents. The money was then deposited into bank accounts controlled by LeBeauf and Scott-Landry.

As a result of the guilty plea, 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 at least an additional 22 years of prison for the wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.