I-TEAM: St. Gabriel police chief booked, released after grand jury indictment
IBERVILLE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeu and his wife surrendered for arrest after a grand jury indicted them and a local restaurant owner for an alleged kickback scheme.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Ambeu and his wife were booked for arrest and posted bond Saturday, November 18.
Chief Ambeu was criminally indicted on Friday and had until noon Saturday to surrender to the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office for the alleged scheme, according to District Attorney Tony Clayton.
A grand jury indicted Ambeau on multiple counts of malfeasance, money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering, theft over $25,000, conspiracy to commit theft over $25,000, failure to maintain public record, and obstruction.
Sources with knowledge of the case tell the WAFB I-Team the charges stem from a raid at the chief’s house in 2022. Officials went to Ambeau’s home seeking money tied to a homicide investigation.
While that money was not recovered in Ambeau’s home and was eventually found in the police department’s evidence locker, other items belonging to the homicide victim were found in Ambeau’s possession, the I-Team’s sources said.
Other evidence collected during that raid exposed a years-long kickback scheme that allegedly involved Ambeau’s ex-wife, Kalayn Brown, and a local restaurant owner, Roberto Sandoval.
Sources say the restaurant would provide invoices to Ambeau and his ex-wife. Ambeau or his ex-wife allegedly changed the amounts on those invoices so that they were overpaid, sources said. Ambeau would then pocket the extra cash, sources said.
A copy of the indictment reviewed by the I-Team reveals at least 4 invoices were paid to Roberto’s River Road Restaurant.
According to the indictment, those invoices were billed for “Christmas parties” in 2017, 2018, and 2019. The fourth invoice was billed for an all-white Labor Day event in 2018.
“This indictment sends a message that we are not only keeping a vigilant eye on low-level crime activity, but also keeping an eye out for white-collar crime. No one is above the law. It’s unfortunate and it’s a dark day that no one in law enforcement should experience. But the law is what it is,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton.
Reached via text message Friday afternoon, Ambeau said he had retained an attorney. He did not wish to comment on the charges.
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