Cloutier pleads “No Contest” to tax-related crimes

BATON ROUGE – A Lafayette businessman pleaded “No Contest” to tax evasion and obstruction of justice in an agreement with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) announced Thursday.

Eric Cloutier entered the plea in 15th Judicial District Court in Lafayette.  

Cloutier, a former owner of Karma nightclub and Marley’s Downtown sports bar in Lafayette, surrendered the licenses for those businesses as part of the plea.

After an investigation involving LDR’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, ATC enforcement agents arrested Cloutier in February following allegations that he manipulated the cash registers in his bars to avoid remitting sales taxes to Lafayette Parish and to the State of Louisiana.  He initially faced more than 500 felony counts including theft, fraud, and obstruction of justice.  He pleaded “No Contest” on Thursday, November 12, 2009 to one count of tax evasion and one count of obstruction of justice connected to the destruction of more than 300 tax-related documents.

As a condition of his plea agreement, Cloutier paid a tax liability of more than $200,000 including interest and penalties to Lafayette Parish and the State of Louisiana.  In addition, the court ordered Cloutier to pay the cost of the investigation and prosecution of this case assessed at $10,000.  He was ordered also to pay more than $1,400 in fines and court costs. 

Cloutier will serve two years of active supervised probation.

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LDR News Release – Alleged identity theft leads to tax fraud arrest

June 4, 2009

BATON ROUGE ‐ A Baton Rouge woman faces a charge related to felony tax fraud after she allegedly committed identity theft in the filing of fraudulent state income tax returns.

Baton Rouge police arrested 25‐year‐old Kathryn Foster, of 1358 North 23rd Street in Baton Rouge, on one count of Filing False Public Records. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Louisiana Department of Revenue, the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorneyʹs Office, and Baton Rouge City Police.

Investigators say Foster falsely claimed two individuals as dependents on her Louisiana State Individual Income Tax returns in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

If convicted, Foster faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
For more information, please contact:

Barry Kelly
Director, Criminal Investigations Division
Louisiana Department of Revenue
225.219.2280
Barry.kelly@la.gov

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