- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A former high-ranking Orleans Parish sheriff’s deputy has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for allegedly using “ghost employees” to pad invoices for security details at events.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite and FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet announced Friday that 69-year-old Roy Austin, a retired sheriff’s colonel, was charged in a one-count bill of information.

The document alleges that Austin arranged for details through a private company, Austin Sales and Service, and padded the billing documents with names of individuals who did not in fact provide any security services. In addition, Austin kept part of the overbilled amount in a corporate bank account for his own use.

If convicted, Austin faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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