New Orleans traffic court accountant convicted
NEW ORLEANS - A former New Orleans traffic court accountant has been found guilty of 11 counts of stealing from the city.
Forty-one-year-old Vandale Thomas was convicted Friday. WWL-TV reported that it took the jury just four hours to reach the verdict on all 11 counts. Charges included theft, money laundering and "structuring" - breaking up large bank deposits into smaller ones to avoid federal tax reporting requirements.
Prosecutors contend that more than $600,000 of the $1.2 million Thomas was paid by the city was stolen through inflated invoices and payments for hours he never worked.
An assistant U.S. attorney said Thomas acted as chief financial officer of New Orleans' traffic court from 2008 until he was fired for overbilling in 2011.