A federal jury has convicted New Orleans Police Capt. Michael Rousell of conspiracy and wire fraud relating to a scheme to defraud an energy company by inflating rates for security services.
In June 2010, Roussel, 46, contacted a cooperating witness at Entergy Corp. and told him that he had a friend, Joseph Branch, who lived in Texas and owned a company that provided security services. Roussel told the witness that if he gave Roussel's friend a contract, the friend would give them both a payoff.
The cooperating witness then met with Roussel and Branch, the owner of Gladius Inc. in New Orleans. During this meeting, Branch indicated that he sought at least $75 per hour, per guard, and asked what the maximum hourly rate that Entergy would pay. Ultimately, they agreed to an hourly rate of $89.50 per hour, per guard with an inflated portion of approximately $15 per hour, per guard.
The cooperating witness, Branch, and Roussel then agreed to split the $15 inflated fraudulent charge equally.
On June 22, 2010, the witness, Roussel, and Branch met and signed a contract where Gladius would provide armed guards to Entergy following a hurricane. The hourly rate charged by Gladius to Entergy would be inflated by approximately $15 per hour, per guard to cover the above described payments to the cooperating witness, Branch, and Roussel.
Branch, who testified as a government witness, previously pleaded guilty on March 10 to one count of conspiring to defraud Entergy Services Inc. and the federal government.
Roussel's sentencing is scheduled for June 30. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of five years' imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and three years of probation. Each wire fraud charge carries a maximum of 30 years' imprisonment, a fine of up to $1 million, and five years of probation.