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Former New Orleans Traffic Court Deputy Clerk Sentenced

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 13, 2012
  • Eastern District of Louisiana (504) 680-3000

NEW ORLEANS—JAMES E. SINGLETON, age 45, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon for theft as an agent of an organization receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Judge Fallon sentenced SINGLETON to seven months’ incarceration, 200 hours of community service, and one year supervised release upon release from the Bureau of Prisons. SINGLETON is to report to prison on October 15, 2012

According to documents filed in federal court, in approximately 2008, SINGLETON was hired as a court employee for Orleans Parish Traffic Court, Section D, and he was later promoted to the position of deputy clerk for traffic court. As deputy clerk, SINGLETON was responsible for managing and/or supervising approximately 30 subordinate traffic court employees.

SINGLETON stole thousands of dollars in cash from individuals who appeared at traffic court in an effort to resolve their outstanding traffic tickets. Specifically, in the year 2010, the FBI discovered that SINGLETON took at least $9,000 in cash from at least six different victims. In a voluntary interview with FBI agents, SINGLETON admitted that he received money from individuals to fix traffic tickets, that he did not “put” the money toward the fines and fees, and that he kept the money for personal use.

After SINGLETON took the unsuspecting victims’ money, he would provide his victims with an official New Orleans traffic court document called a reinstatement letter. SINGLETON would instruct his victims to take the letter to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Driver’s License Division so they could get their driving privileges reinstated. However, many of SINGLETON’s victims’ driving privileges were suspended without their knowledge since SINGLETON failed to clear their past citations. As a result, SINGLETON’s actions placed his victims in jeopardy of arrest for driving on a suspended driver’s license and having outstanding attachments for contempt of court.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department and was prosecuted by Strike Force Chief and Assistant United States Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

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