Louisiana Tax Commission administrator arrested following joint investigation
The investigation resulted in the arrest of the administrator of the LTC, 51-year-old Charles K. Abels III of Baton Rouge.
The investigation began in May of 2018 when the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations -- Criminal Investigations Division (CID) was contacted by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) regarding possible payroll fraud by Abels. Upon learning of the allegations, CID initiated a joint investigation with the LLA. Investigators were able to determine that on multiple occasions Abels claimed and was paid for time worked while not in the performance of his LTC duties. Furthermore, on multiple occasions Investigators observed Abels utilizing a state rental vehicle for personal use and learned that he submitted unauthorized fuel reimbursement requests for the vehicle.
As a result of the investigation, an arrest warrant was obtained through the 19th JDC charging Abels with LRS 14:134 - Malfeasance in office (1 felony count), LRS 14:138 – Public payroll fraud (1 felony count), and LRS 14:133 - Filing or maintaining false public records (63 felony counts).
On Jan. 11, Abels was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on the above charges. This case remains under investigation.