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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two Ex-Cops Plead Guilty to Insurance Fraud Conspiracy

Former NOPD sergeant, JPSO deputy, and another man plead guilty in federal court to insurance scam 
The Times Picayune by Brendan McCarthy  -  May 24, 2012

A former New Orleans police sergeant, a former Jefferson Parish sheriff's deputy and a Westwego man all pleaded guilty today in federal court to their roles in a insurance fraud scheme. The trio acknowledged faking the theft of then-NOPD Sgt. Kevin Guillot's personal vehicle so he could collect insurance proceeds, according to U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office. Guillot, 43, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Former JPSO Deputy Daniel Spears, 40, of Belle Chasse, pleaded guilty to the same charge. Meanwhile, Guillot's nephew, Anthony Venezia, 34, of Westwego, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony, or failing to report a crime. Another NOPD officer linked to the scheme, Salvadore Battaglia, took his own life at his home in Madisonville on Feb. 7, just hours after news of the federal investigation broke. Guillot was Battaglia's supervisor. As part of their guilty pleas, Guillot and Spears confessed to concocting the scheme because Guillot, a NOPD veteran of 20 years, didn't want to pay for repairs on his personal truck. Guillot reported his Ford F-250 truck was stolen while he was out fishing with Venezia. Guillot wasn't fishing, however; he had actually been working most of the day, with his truck parked in front of his home. He enlisted Spears to write a phony police report that was submitted to an insurance company. Later, Venezia lied to officials with Progressive Insurance in an effort to corroborate Guillot's story. Battaglia, meanwhile, created a false police report that said that Guillot's vehicle had been recovered in New Orleans after the theft, badly damaged. The insurance company made some payments to Guillot, but grew suspicious and withheld a final payment. He stood to collect more than $12,000 if the claim had been approved. Spears agreed to cooperate with the government and secretly recorded a conversation with Guillot in early February in which Guillot instructed him to lie to federal agents, according to court documents. That same day, Battaglia also secretly recorded a conversation with Guillot. Guillot also told him to lie, according to court documents. Guillot's attorney, Eric Hessler, said Thursday that his client is trying to put the mistake behind him. "He is very sorry about what he did and what happened," Hessler said. Guillot resigned from the NOPD in April. Spears resigned from the JPSO in February. They face a maximum of up to five years in prison, according to Letten's office. Venezia faces a maximum of three years. They are scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 22. NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden noted in a released statement that this was the first case that the NOPD's Public Integrity Bureau worked on with the FBI agents that are currently embedded in the agency. "The agents helped tremendously in building the case for prosecution," Braden wrote. Brendan McCarthy can be reached at or 504.826.3301.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wait to see what else this loser (Kevin Guillot) did. Coming soon to a courtroom near you. Dec 3rd 2012. Glynn Duffour VS Kevin Guillot, NOPD, etc.