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Press Release

Former New Orleans Police Officer Charged in Insurance Fraud and Bribery Schemes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced that CHRISTIAN CONRAD CLAUS, age 55, has been indicted on one count of Wire Fraud, one count of Mail Fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit those crimes, one count of Use of a Facility in Interstate Commerce in Aid of Bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit that crime, and one count of Making a False Statement to a Federal Agent.

The indictment alleges that in 2019, CLAUS, then a NOPD police officer, conspired with a New Orleans homeowner and a Nevada art appraiser to submit a fraudulent insurance claim on the homeowner’s property.  It is alleged that the claim reported that valuable paintings were stolen from the insured’s house, when in truth, the paintings were neither valuable nor stolen. The indictment also alleges that the homeowner agreed, in exchange for CLAUS using his police position to further the scheme, to share the insurance proceeds with CLAUS and to provide CLAUS with assistance in obtaining employment positions.

The fraud and fraud conspiracy charges are each punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. The bribery, bribery conspiracy, and false statement charges are each punishable by up to five years imprisonment. Sentencing for each count, if there is a conviction, may include a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release following imprisonment.

The homeowner, Fouad K. Zeton, and the appraiser, Michael Jon Schofield, previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

The United States Attorney’s Office reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the defendant’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case was investigated by the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chandra Menon of the Public Integrity Unit, is in charge of the prosecution.


Shane Jones 

Community Outreach Coordinator 

U.S. Attorney's Office 

Eastern District of Louisiana

Updated July 1, 2024

Financial Fraud