Max Schramel Dec. 1, 2014, 3:25pm


NEW ORLEANS – A local oil company is suing an accountant it claims embezzled a total of $1,798,000 betewen October 2009 and May 2014.

Clovelly Oil Co. LLC filed suit against Paul E. Gardner in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Sept. 11.

Clovelly, a limited liability company located at 650 Poydras St. in New Orleans, allegedly hired Paul E. Gardner in 2008 to provide accounting assistance for the company. As part of Gardner’s duties, he was given access to Clovelly’s bank accounts and had the capacity to make electronic payments via Automated Clearing House (ACH) in association with Whitney Bank, the suit says.

Beginning in 2009, Gardner allegedly made illicit, illegal and unauthorized deposits from Clovelly’s bank accounts, via the ACH, into his personal bank accounts, the suit claims. This allegedly continued for another four and a half years, culminating in over one hundred unauthorized withdrawals from Clovelly’s bank accounts.

Gardner has acknowledged his wrongdoing by arranging for partial repayment in the sum of $150,000 out of the $1,798,000, the suit says. However, Gardner has failed to pay back the debt in full and remains liable to Clovelly for the aforementioned amount as well as the lesser credit of $150,000.

The plaintiff is represented by M. Taylor Darden and Justin M. Chopin of Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux LLC.

The case has been assigned to Div. D Judge Lloyd J. Medley.

Case no. 2014-08914.

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