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UPDATE: Former clerk of court reports to jail to begin sentence

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Posted at 12:16 PM, Oct 19, 2021

Former Iberia Parish Clerk of Court Michael Thibodeaux has been booked into the Iberia Parish jail to begin serving his sentence.

Officials with the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office confirm that Thibodeaux was booked into the jail today.

Thibodeaux was convicted in May 2019 on several charges; some were thrown out by an appeals court. He originally was convicted by a jury of one count of racketeering; two counts of theft of more than $25,000; one count of theft between $5,000 – $25,000; two counts of filing or maintaining false public records; seven counts of malfeasance in office and one count perjury.

The appeals court threw out the racketeering charge for insufficient evidence, and also vacated one count of theft, one of perjury and one of malfeasance because the jury's verdict was not unanimous on those counts.

His convictions on two counts of filing or maintaining false public records and on six counts of malfeasance in office were allowed to stand by the appeals court.

The court ordered Thibodeaux to repay approximately $325,000 he's accused of misappropriating and sentenced him to serve 30 months in jail.

According to the 16th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Thibodeaux’s convictions stem from "a legislative audit and subsequent Louisiana State Police investigation into the Iberia Parish Clerk of Court’s office. The investigation revealed multiple instances of fraudulent and deceitful conduct done at the direction of the defendant. For instance, the investigation revealed that the defendant transferred fees that should have been returned to litigants into his office’s salary fund. Further, the defendant concealed the transfers by creating false entries in his accounting system and creating duplicate checks payable to his office. The investigation also revealed that the defendant concealed a box of cash containing public monies in the closet of his office and, by the close of the investigation, over $5,000 of public funds were unaccounted for. Additionally, the defendant used “rewards points” from a public credit card to pay for a personal vacation."

In June of 2018, a grand jury indicted the defendant for one count of Racketeering; two counts of Theft over $25,000; one count of Theft over $5,000 but less than $25,000; seven counts of Malfeasance in Office; two counts of Filing or Maintaining False Public Records, and one count of Perjury. The charge of perjury stems from false statements made by the defendant in his testimony to the grand jury, according to the DA's office.

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