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Chamico employee sentenced

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that Tenille Nielson, age 34, of Franklinton was sentenced Wednesday for her role in a scheme to defraud the Louisiana Workforce Commission of unemployment benefits.

U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan sentenced Nielson to three years probation and restitution in the amount of $6,422.

According to the court documents, beginning at a time unknown but no later than on or about Sept. 24, 2009, and continuing through on or about Jan. 11, 2014, Nielson, along with Charles E. Mizell Jr., Terry Castilow, David Lowe, Jerry Athey and James Creel, all of Bogalusa, and Angie’s William Darryl King, Jacqueline Myers and Roger Nadeau, conspired to defraud the Louisiana Workforce Commission of money and property by means of false and fraudulent representations, pretenses and promises, well knowing the representations, pretenses and promises were false, and mailed and caused to be mailed through the United States Postal Service unemployment benefit claim, or UI, forms for the purpose of obtaining UI benefits to which they were not entitled.

Specifically, at the time Nielson applied for UI benefits and made weekly representations to LWC that she was unemployed and not getting paid, Mizell Jr. actually employed her at Chamico Inc., a Bogalusa construction company that concentrates on public, municipal, and industrial contracts.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Department of Labor-OIG and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Louisiana Workforce Commission in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Emily K. Greenfield was in charge of the prosecution.

Mizell is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 28.

In September, Mizell, 44, Creel, 48, King, 47, and Nielson pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud for their participation in a scheme to defraud the Louisiana Workforce Commission of unemployment benefits. Mizell also pleaded guilty to five counts

of mail fraud.

Mizell was president of Chamico, and according to the factual bases, he asked those employees to fraudulently file for unemployment so that he would not have to pay their full salaries during tough economic times for Chamico. The employees would each get cash from Chamico during the weeks they were claiming unemployment benefits and reporting that they were not working and not getting any income from work.

Creel and King pleaded guilty in September before Berrigan to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud for their participation in the scheme.

Mizell, King and Creel each face no more than five years in prison, a $250,000 fine nd three years supervised release on the conspiracy conviction. Mizell faces an additional sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release on each of the five counts of mail fraud.