Covering Louisiana

Feb 4, 2011 9:21 PM by Alison Haynes

Texas codefendant may change NOPD fraud plea

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Court records indicate that the owner of a Brownsboro, Texas, security firm might plead guilty in a case accusing him of plotting with a New Orleans police commander to get kickbacks from a hurricane security contract.
Both Joseph Branch of Gladius Inc. and police Capt. Michael Roussel are scheduled for trial March 28, but records show Branch has a change of plea hearing scheduled March 10.
The Times-Picayune reports that both pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal wire fraud in a six-count indictment that replaces a single count handed up in June. The five new counts involve alleged statements in e-mails and a phone call.
The men are charged with scheming to inflate a contract with Entergy Services Inc. - one eligible for Federal Emergency Management Administration coverage.

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