Former Sewerage and Water Board Official in Louisiana Pleads Guilty to Theft After Issuing Permits and Keeping the Funds
New Orleans, Louisiana – A former official of a Sewerage and Water Board in Louisiana has pleaded guilty to theft after issuing permits and keeping the funds.
On June 28, 2023, James Arnold pleaded guilty to theft from an organization that receives funding from the federal government, as stated by U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.
Arnold has confessed to participating in a theft plot during his tenure as a Utility Services Administrator for the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans (S&W). From around 2012 until November 2021, Arnold misappropriated S&W funds by manipulating the issuance of plumbing permits. Despite not receiving the necessary fees, Arnold would direct plumbers to make payments to him. He would then keep the money for personal use and ensure that the permits were issued by S&W without them receiving the required fees. As a result of this scheme, the S&W suffered a loss of approximately $108,290.
Arnold has admitted to committing a crime that could result in a maximum of ten years in jail, followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, there is a possibility of a fine of up to $250,000 and a special assessment fee of $100. The sentencing for Arnold has been set by United States District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo for October 11, 2023.
The investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The responsibility of prosecuting the case lies with Assistant U.S. Attorney Chandra Menon from the Public Integrity Unit.