La. Sheriff’s Deputy and Two Others Accused of Insurance Fraud

April 4, 2005

The assistant chief sheriff’s deputy in Avoyelles Parish, La., and two other men are accused of defrauding an insurance company of $18,000, according to the Associated Press and the Alexandria Daily Town Talk.

FBI agents arrested Assistant Chief Deputy Larry Wilmer, 54, of Mansura, and Bradley Ducote, 36, and Carl J. Dufour, 50, both of Cottonport, after a 14-count indictment accused them of conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud against Volunteer Firemen’s Insurance Co.

Wilmer remains on the job, and no discipline action had been taken at the time of the arrest, Chief Deputy Maj. Harry Normand said.

U.S. Attorney Donald Washington said the indictment alleges that between May 2001 and January 2003, Ducote and Wilmer sent the insurance company information claiming that Dufour worked for the sheriff’s office when he was injured in an accident.

It said they sent the company three letters and faxes although Dufour was working for a volunteer fire department, not the sheriff’s office, when he was injured.

Dufour received $18,425 in insurance payments between August 2001 and April 2002.

Last year, the Avoyelles Parish District Attorney’s Office dropped state charges against Wilmer, but Ducote and Dufour pleaded guilty to an insurance scam involving the sheriff’s office.

Wilmer and Ducote kept their jobs after that arrest but Ducote, a former juvenile detective, recently was fired after being arrested for forging a judge’s signature. He pleaded guilty to that earlier this month and is to begin serving a 30-day sentence next month.

Sheriff Bill Belt said last year that his employees only signed papers provided by Dufour, and did not get any of the money. His office found no criminal charges. The sheriff’s office has since changed its policy on handling insurance claims.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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