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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 21, 2019

Hammond Man Pleads Guilty to Theft of More than $240,000.00 in Social Security Funds

NEW ORLEANS – United States Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that DANNY L. LETARD (“LETARD”), age 57, of Hammond, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty to Theft of Government Funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

According to documents filed in federal court, beginning in 1989, LETARD filed for and later became eligible for Social Security Administration (“SSA”) disability benefits of approximately $2,177.30 per month. During this period, LETARD formed a number of businesses including, but not limited to, Excavation/Dozer Company, Virginia Shop Site Cleaning Services, Virginia’s Job Site Cleaning, Virginia Cleaning Services, and R & D Dozer Excavation & Pipe Fabr.  LETARD’s businesses were registered in the names of LETARD’s family members rather than in his name to conceal his employment. LETARD’s businesses performed demolition work and the cleaning of job sites according to occupational license applications filed with Tangipahoa Parish. LETARD also operated heavy construction equipment as part of his businesses.  On October 24, 2017, LETARD was interviewed by agents with the SSA Office of Inspector General and the Louisiana State Police. In his post-Miranda interview, LETARD told the agents he concealed his SSA benefits through third party companies “so y’all wouldn’t find out about it.” Accordingly, LETARD fraudulently received approximately $242,000.00 in Social Security Administration disability benefits he was not entitled to due to his employment.

LETARD faces a maximum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment, followed by up to three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a mandatory $100 special assessment.  Sentencing is set for May 22, 2019 at 2:00 pm.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General and the Louisiana State Police.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Supervisor of the Financial Crimes Unit.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated February 21, 2019