Grand jury indicts former Commander's Palace manager in fake invoice scheme

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by Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on February 25, 2011 at 5:27 PM

NEW ORLEANS – A former purchasing agent and manager for Commander’s Palace has been indicted for stealing more than $268,000 from the legendary Uptown restaurant, in a fake invoice scheme.

The indictment released by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office Friday, charges Shawn Michael Haygood, 39, with computer fraud. It does not name the restaurant where he worked, instead describing it only as “ABC restaurant…an upscale food and beverage provider serving meals to residents of New Orleans and a significant number of tourists traveling to New Orleans from out-of-state.”

But a 2007 article in Business Insurance magazine identified Shawn Haygood as corporate purchaser for Commander's. Reached Friday by Eyewitness News, Ti Martin, co-owner of Commander’s Palace, would not comment on Haygood’s employment status or comment on the indictment.

The indictment said Haygood was an employee of the unnamed “ABC” restaurant, for about three years, up until April 2009.

Prosecutors accuse him of devising a scheme involving false invoices for perishable food items he claimed to have purchased for the restaurant.

The indictment alleges that Haygood produced fake purchases stamped with the words “Cap’s Farmer’s Market” or “Caps Farmer’s Market.” Cap’s Produce in Slidell was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, prosecutors said. The indictment alleges Haygood would input the fraudulent amounts into the restaurant’s computer system, which produced a receipt he then used to get cash.

Over about a 30-month period, prosecutors said Haygood stole $268,774.00 from the restaurant. If convicted, he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a $250,000 fine.

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