Brendan McCarthy / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- A former New Orleans police officer was charged Thursday with federal tax evasion.

Officer Maurice Palmer did not file federal income tax returns from 2006 through 2009, according to a bill of information issued by U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office. Palmer allegedly filed fraudulent tax forms and thus failed to withhold any taxes.

Palmer has been employed with the NOPD since the mid 1980s, according to court documents. Police spokeswoman Remi Braden said Thursday night that Palmer was no longer employed at the NOPD. Braden said he was fired years ago after failing a drug test. That information was not noted in the court documents.

Prosecutors allege Palmer knew this was wrong. In all, he bilked the federal government out of at least $68,000, according to the court documents.

Palmer is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 12 in federal court. He could not be reached for comment.

Palmer made headlines in 2000 after he was accused of firing a gun in the air while ringing in the New Year. This allegedly occurred while the NOPD was on a crackdown of such actions, trying to thwart falling bullet injuries.

The District Attorney's office eventually decided not to pursue criminal charges because of problems with the lone witness in the case, according to published reports.

In 2002, Palmer received a medal of commendation from the NOPD.

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