FORMER EMPLOYEE OF ORLEANS PARISH CRIMINAL SHERIFF AND CRIMINAL CLERK PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHARGES
GILISHIA GARRISON, age 40, a resident of New Orleans, pled guilty today in federal court before U. S. District Judge Eldon Fallon to four counts of computer fraud by accessing a protected computer of the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the factual basis, GARRISON admitted that between 2006 and 2010, while she was employed by the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Clerk’s Office and the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office, she accepted payments from four criminal defendants and then used her position to access the Sheriff’s computer system and alter each defendant’s bail status to one of personal recognizance bonds, which are normally reserved for individuals who have been determined by a judge to not pose a danger to the community and to stand a strong likelihood to re-appear in court as ordered.
GARRISON further admitted that she received a $1000 “money gram” to effect the release of Defendant A who had been ordered held on a $75,000 bond, and unspecified quantities of cash to effect the releases of Defendant B who had been ordered held on a $20,000 bond, and Defendants C and D who had both been ordered held on a $55,000 bond.
GARRISON faces a possible maximum sentence of five (5) years, a $250,000 fine and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for June 23, 2011 at 2:00 P.M.
U. S. Attorney Letten expressed his gratitude to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Daniel P. Friel.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org