NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans Harbor Police officer is in custody after authorities said he was caught using department-issued gas credit cards more than 50 times while off-duty or out sick.
NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1uuI4MC ) 35-year-old Terry Javery (JAH-vuh-ree), a 12-year veteran, was suspended following his arrest Monday. Bond information was not immediately available and it was unclear whether Javery has an attorney.
Department spokesman Matthew Gresham said an investigation found $669.44 worth of fraudulent gas purchases made between July 7 and Aug. 24 on a card with a unique access number assigned to Javery, and another $1,215 in declined transactions.
Javery was booked with malfeasance in office, 18 counts each of theft and access device fraud and eight counts each of attempted theft and attempted access device fraud, and two counts of possession of stolen property. More charges could come in Jefferson Parish, where Javery is accused of attempting an additional 28 illegal transactions, the warrant says.
Javery's arrest came after a joint investigation by the New Orleans Police Department, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and Harbor Police Department which Gresham said was launched after routine department audits detected potential fraud.
Irregular activity first was noticed Aug. 20, when a supervisor authorized an officer who had misplaced her Fuelman card to borrow the one in Javery's parked, off-duty unit, the warrant said. The card could not be found inside, and Javery had to bring it to the other officer after being called about it, the report said.
Less than two weeks later, the alleged scheme unraveled further.
A Harbor Police supervisor was notified Sept. 2 by a fraud-alert warning "concerning numerous declined purchases for fuel at various locations within the New Orleans metro area," the warrant said. This time, it was a Fuelman card assigned to an out-of-service vehicle that someone had fraudulently attempted to use at eight locations in New Orleans and three more in Jefferson Parish, the warrant says.
An NOPD investigator visited two of those gas stations and obtained surveillance video showing a suspect approaching other customers inside and outside the stations before swiping the card. In one of the videos, the suspect still appeared to be wearing part of a uniform, having removed only his shirt, the warrant says. A Harbor Police supervisor last Saturday identified the person on the surveillance images as Javery.
According to Harbor Police protocols, the agency's gas cards are to be kept inside department vehicles, and those vehicles are to remain locked and secured at the Harbor Police's headquarters when not in use.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com