Bogalusa Men Sentenced for Their Role in Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and Mail Fraud
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that CHARLES E. “CHUCK” MIZELL, JR., age 44, a resident of Bogalusa, Louisiana, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy commit mail fraud in a scheme to defraud the Louisiana Workforce Commission of unemployment benefits, and five counts of mail fraud.
U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan sentenced MIZELL to 21 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Additionally, MIZELL was found to be jointly and severally liable with his co-defendants for $53,356 in restitution.
According to court records, beginning at a time unknown, but no later than on or about September 24, 2009, and continuing through on or about January 11, 2014, MIZELL, TERRY CASTILOW, WILLIAM DARRYL KING, DAVID LOWE, JAMES CREEL, JERRY ATHEY, TENILLE NIELSON, JACQUELINE MYERS, and ROGER NADEAU conspired to defraud the Louisiana Workforce Commission (“LWC”) of money and property by means of false and fraudulent representations, pretenses and promises, well knowing the representations, pretenses and promises were false, and mailed and caused to be mailed through the United States Postal Service unemployment (“UI”) benefit claim forms for the purpose of obtaining UI benefits to which they were not entitled. Specifically, at the time CASTILOW, KING, LOWE, CREEL, ATHEY, NIELSON, MYERS, and NADEAU applied for UI benefits and made weekly representations to LWC that they were unemployed and not getting paid, MIZELL actually employed them at Chamico, Inc., a Bogalusa construction company that concentrates on public, municipal, and industrial contracts.
MIZELL was the President of Chamico and, according to the factual bases in the court record, asked those employees to fraudulently file for unemployment so that he would not have to pay their full salaries during tough economic times for Chamico. The employees would each get cash from Chamico during the weeks they were claiming unemployment benefits reporting that they were not working and not getting any income from work.
Also sentenced today was JAMES CREEL, age 48, a resident of Bogalusa, Louisiana, and WILLIAM DARRYL KING, age 47, a resident of Angie, Louisiana. CREEL and KING each received two years’ probation and a $500 fine for their role in the conspiracy to commit mail fraud. ROGER NADEAU, age 51, of Linn, Missouri, is the last remaining defendant in this case. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy at today’s proceeding. NADEAU faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years’ supervised release on the conspiracy conviction.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Department of Labor-OIG and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Louisiana Workforce Commission in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Greenfield is in charge of the prosecution.