Friday, May 5, 2017

Donald W. Malray, a Homer, LA police officer, indicted on charges he defrauded the State Farm insurance company through a false stolen vehicle claim


A Homer, LA police officer with a history of questionable behavior has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he defrauded an insurance company through a bogus claim.

The three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Donald Wayne Malray, 52, with one count of mail fraud conspiracy and two counts of mail fraud.

This is not the first time Malray, who has served as the department’s assistant chief during a nearly 30-year career, has been indicted by a federal grand jury. In 2003, he was indicted on two counts of perjury after the government alleged he lied while testifying in a Claiborne Parish man’s federal drug trial. A jury acquitted Malray after a trial in 2004.

Malray told KTBS he already had plans to retire from the department. He said Police Chief Russell Mills placed him on administrative leave; however, he's using accrued vacation days.

The current charges accuse Malray of conspiring with an unindicted co-conspirator -- identified in court documents only as “LDH” -- to purchase a Polaris utility vehicle and a trailer, having LDH report them as stolen and then pocketing the $13,600 insurance payment.

The indictment alleges Malray bought the side-by-side and trailer from a Bossier City retailer on Aug. 1, 2014, and financed them through Barksdale Federal Credit Union for about $13,000. Both were insured through State Farm.

The government alleges the conspiracy stretched from July 4, 2015, through Jan. 31 of this year. The indictment charges LDH was approached by Malray on July 4, 2015, with a scheme for LDH to make a “false claim” that the vehicles were stolen but that Malray would take them for himself.

The two met Aug. 4, 2015, at a park in Ruston, the indictment said, where Malray took possession of the Polaris and trailer then took them to his girlfriend’s house in Ruston. They remained there until seized by law enforcement on Jan. 31.

LDH reported the vehicles as stolen to the Homer Police Department later that day. Shortly afterward, the indictment alleges, LDH filed a claim with State Farm. State Farm issued two checks – one totaling $10,952 to Barksdale Federal Credit Union and the second $2,658 to LDH – on Sept. 8, 2015.