An indictment against former Jefferson Parish, La., Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Hebert, 48, was announced today by Roy L. Austin Jr., Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana; Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI New Orleans Field Office; and Sheriff Newell Normand from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to the indictment, Hebert engaged in a scheme to defraud J.P. Morgan Chase Bank from Aug. 2, 2007, until Nov. 21, 2007. The scheme began when Hebert, in his capacity as a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, responded to an automobile accident involving Albert Bloch and stole, among other things, Bloch’s Visa debit card. The indictment alleges that Hebert then used that debit card to make unauthorized purchases of merchandise and to withdraw funds from Bloch’s Chase Bank account using ATMs. After Chase Bank cancelled the debit card due to Bloch filing a dispute with the bank, Hebert continued his scheme to defraud by negotiating and attempting to negotiate forged checks drawn on Bloch’s Chase Bank account. It is also alleged that Hebert obtained the replacement debit card that Chase Bank sent to Bloch and used that card to make unauthorized transactions at ATMs.
The indictment charges that Hebert, while acting under color of law, deprived Bloch of his constitutional rights by seizing and converting funds that Bloch had on deposit with Chase Bank. In addition, the indictment alleges that Hebert committed 48 counts of bank fraud from Aug. 2, 2007, to Nov. 21, 2007. The indictment also charges Hebert with four counts of computer fraud for accessing the National Crime Information Center to obtain non-public information about Bloch in furtherance of his scheme to defraud. Furthermore, Hebert is charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft for using a means of identification of Bloch during, and in relation to, the bank fraud violations. Finally, Hebert is charged with five counts of obstruction of justice for knowingly concealing and covering up physical evidence with the intent to impede any investigation into the underlying criminal allegations against Hebert.
For each of the 48 counts of bank fraud, Hebert faces a statutory maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years . For each of the five counts of obstruction of justice, Hebert faces a statutory maximum term of 20 years in prison. For each of the four counts of computer fraud, Hebert faces a statutory maximum term of five years in prison. For each of the two counts of aggravated identity theft, Hebert faces a term of two years in prison. For the count charging a civil rights violation, Hebert faces a statutory maximum penalty of one year in prison .
An indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation was conducted by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective’s Bureau and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Parker and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Shan Patel.