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Press Release

Ponchatoula Woman Indicted for Bank Fraud, Attempted Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft

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

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that JESSICA HENDERSON BERTHELOT, age 28, of Ponchatoula, was indicted yesterday for Bank Fraud, Attempted Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft.

According to the court records, the investigation was initiated on September 17, 2015 by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service after determining that BERTHELOT was stealing mail from residential mailboxes on the north shore.    

Postal inspectors determined BERTHELOT stole approximately 1428 items of mail, including negotiable instruments.  According to court records, BERTHELOT cashed and attempted to cash the stolen checks at various federally insured financial institutions on the north shore.  BERTHELOT was also indicted with aggravated identity theft for forging the signatures of several victims on the stolen checks. 

U. S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If convicted, BERTHELOT faces a maximum penalty of thirty years imprisonment, followed by up to five years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

Updated February 26, 2016

Topic
Financial Fraud