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Police accuse city official, bank officer of crimes

Two women have been taken into custody by the Clinton Police Department. According to authorities there, the women, who were 62 and 66 years old, were committing white collar crimes such as money laundering, racketeering and fraud. The 66-year-old woman was the program manager for the Clinton Main Street program. The 62-year-old was an officer at Landmark Bank.

According to reports from the mayor of Clinton, Louisiana, as well as the town's chief of police, both women are well known in the community and no one expected them to commit such crimes. Still, they have been charged with 15 counts of filing or maintaining false public records, six counts each of public contract fraud, one count each of racketeering, malfeasance in office, theft of more than $65,000 and nearly 200 counts of money laundering.

An official with the police said that the authorities began investigating the duo when reports came in from the State Treasurer's Office. Those reports suggested that there may be some criminal activity going on. Officials began examining records dating back as far as 2008 to understand the situation. They then focused on three appropriations from the state and three grants, which were made over a five-year period.

Investigators noted that the 66-year-old had started a nonprofit organization called the Friends of Clinton Main Street while she was employed as the program manager. Authorities allege that the woman then began depositing funds for the program into the nonprofit account. The 66-year-old was president of the organization and the 62-year-old was listed as treasurer. Funds from this account were supposedly used for personal expenses by both women. Those expenses included utilities, newspapers, phones and travel.

Authorities believe that the majority of funds collected by the nonprofit were paid to the 66-year-old while a fraction of that was paid to the 62-year-old. The remainder of the account was reportedly used to support a chapter of the Louisiana Arts and Artist Guild.

Source: Zachary Today, "Clinton Main Street manager, treasurer charged with racketeering, money laundering," Nov. 14, 2012

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