Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, a U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, has sentenced a former Sheriff’s Deputy to 92 years in prison for offenses committed while still a deputy. Former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Hebert was indicted in March on 60 counts related to the 2007 disappearance of Albert Bloch. Former Deputy Hebert was convicted of Civil Rights violations, Bank Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft. In addition to his long prison sentence, Former Deputy Hebert was also ordered to pay over $13,000 in restitution to the bank and the estate of the victim.
On August 2, 2007, Deputy Hebert responded to a traffic accident involving Mr. Bloch. Hours after Mr. Bloch had been taken from the accident site to the hospital, fraudulent purchases and withdrawals began appearing on his debit card. Mr. Bloch reported the charges within about a week, but the fraud continued for two months, including even after he received a replacement card.
The District Court found that Deputy Hebert had stolen Bloch’s debit card and other items when he responded to the accident. Deputy Hebert used Mr. Bloch’s card to make thousands of dollars’ worth of unauthorized purchases and to withdraw funds from Mr. Bloch’s bank account using ATMs. Even after Mr. Bloch had reported the card stolen, Deputy Hebert continued his fraud by negotiating checks drawn against Mr. Bloch’s bank account. Deputy Hebert even obtained a replacement debit card that was sent to Mr. Bloch and continued to withdraw cash from ATMs using the stolen card.
During the same period of time, Mr. Bloch mysteriously disappeared. He has never been found and is considered deceased. At an evidentiary hearing in June 2014, Judge Milazzo ruled that Former Deputy Hebert was responsible for Mr. Bloch’s death. Although Former Dupty Hebert was not charged with the murder, Judge Milazzo considered this finding when making her sentencing decision on the fraud and identity theft charges.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana said, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners are delivering the same message in a unified voice: we will not tolerate abuse of power and official position. If you violate the public trust in Southeast Louisiana, you will be held accountable.”