Former Beaumont cop sentenced for defrauding union

Marilyn Tennissen Mar. 6, 2008, 9:21am

A former Beaumont police officer was sentenced to federal prison March 6 for using union funds for his personal use.

U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe for the Eastern District of Texas announced that Paul Perritt of Port Neches was sentenced to four months in federal prison and four months of home confinement.

Sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield, Perritt was also ordered to pay $142,000 in restitution, including $100,000 to be paid prior to sentencing.

Perritt, 54, pleaded guilty to mail fraud on Nov. 13, 2007, for defrauding the Beaumont Police Officers Association.

According to information presented in court, Perritt, an officer with the Beaumont Police Department since 1976, became treasurer of the BPOA in January 1994. As treasurer, Perritt had authority to write checks upon the BPOA bank accounts. Those accounts contained union dues deposited directly from the paychecks of Beaumont Police Officers.

Although Perritt knew he was not authorized to use those funds for his personal benefit, he did, in fact, use BPOA funds to pay his own personal expenses on several occasions from January 2003 until December 2006.

In his guilty plea, he admitted to issuing a check on a BPOA account in the amount of $3,300 as payment for his personal credit card in June 2003. The check was mailed to the credit card company on June 27, 2003.

The total amount that Perritt admitted to taking from BPOA from January 2003 until December 2006 was $141, 942.00.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph R. Batte.

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