Former top aide to Sheriff Marlin Gusman federally charged

Published: Jun. 21, 2016 at 4:05 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2016 at 6:50 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Less than 24 hours after a settlement is reached over the Orleans Parish Jail, Sheriff Marlin Gusman's former top aide is charged in a one count bill of information.

Former Chief Deputy of the Sheriff's Office Gerald Ursin is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The alleged scheme has already netted another top aide of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, former Colonel Roy Austin. According to the Bill of Information, Austin operated a private security company while on the clock with the sheriff's office.

The company would provide security details using OPSO deputies, New Orleans police officers and others. Details of the scheme were laid out in a legislative audit back in April

"One of the things you'll see is exhibit six is a letter that's on the sheriff's letter head and it's referring to security that was provided for the Jazz Festival which appears to be uniformed deputy sheriff's but the letter says to make your checks payable to Colonel Austin's private company. That pretty much sums it up in a nut shell," said Roger Harris, Director of Investigative Audit.

The Feds say Gerald Ursin inflated invoices for detail work that was never done.

According to the Bill of Information, a portion of the overbilled amount was given to Ursin in the form of checks made payable to Ursin's family members.

If convicted of conspiring with others to commit wire fraud, Ursin faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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