SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen and two owners of Blakey Auto Plex have been indicted by grand jury on federal conspiracy and theft charges and failure to file taxes.
According to U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley, former Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry C. Deen, 66, of Benton, La., Clinton E. Blakey, 40, of Shreveport, La., and Clifton D. Blakey, 35, of Benton, La., were indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit federal program theft, one count of federal program theft, and one count of failure to file IRS Tax Form 8300.
The U.S. District Attorney's office released the following details on the indictment Wednesday afternoon:
According to the indictment, starting in January 2012, Deen is accused of conspiring with Clinton Blakey and Clifton Blakey, co-owners of Blakey Auto Plex, LLC (BAP), to retain control and gain ownership of a white four-door 2009 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ that was owned by the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office.
They are also accused of attempting to unlawfully enrich themselves through the conspiracy, and did this in part by undervaluing the vehicle at $21,375 when it was traded in to BAP by the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office in May of 2012.
The indictment also charges Clinton Blakey and Clifton Blakey with failing to file a Form 8300 in connection with $21,000 paid to BAP in July 2012. A Form 8300 is required to be filed when anyone engages in a trade or business who, in the course of such trade or business, receives more than $10,000 in a transaction or in two or more related transactions.
Clinton Blakey's attorney Craig Smith said in a statement that his client is not guilty of these allegations and is a reputable and respected businessman.
"Over the years, The Bossier Parish Sheriff"s Department sold and traded many vehicles with his company. Those sales were done by the book, as was the case in this matter."
The defendants face five years in prison and one year of supervised release for the conspiracy count and 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release for the theft count. Clinton Blakey and Clifton Blakey face five years in prison and one year of supervised release for the Form 8300 count. They also face a $250,000 fine for each count and forfeiture of the proceeds traceable to and property involved in the offenses.
The FBI and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation.
Larry Deen served as Bossier Parish Sheriff from 1988 to 2012.