Fontenot honored for commitment to area financial crime investigation – American Press

Fontenot honored for commitment to area financial crime investigation - American Press

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Det. Shelli Fontenot, center forward, received the 2022 Law Enforcement Officer Distinguished Service Award and was congratulated by, from left, Cpt. Jason Alexander, Lt. James Leubner and Deputy Nick Fontenot. (Special to the American press)

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office Financial Crimes Detective Michelle “Shelli” Fontenot was recognized last week for her hard work and determination when she received the Enforcement Officer’s Distinguished Service Award of Louisiana Bankers Association Act 2022.

Fontenot said she was grateful and honored to even be nominated for the award.

“Our financial crimes unit works hard to help the citizens and businesses of Calcasieu Parish, and any of these detectives are worthy of that credit. This time I was lucky,” Fontenot said.

Fontenot has been with CPSO since 2012 and has been a detective for the past seven years. He said he never imagined he would go to work with a gun and a badge on his hip.

He graduated from McNeese State University with a degree in business and finance and immediately went to work in the tax collector’s office, but after 13 years in that environment, Fontenot said he felt a call for a change .

It was around the same time that the CPSO axed its financial crimes department, and Fontenot had the opportunity to help with those investigations. A few years later she became a full-time detective in the department.

“I think it’s still a little surprising for my family and a little scary. Being a wife and a mother and going to work every day in handcuffs still feels weird sometimes, but they support me and my work and I love them that’s why,” said Fontenot.

The work can be long and tedious, but Fontenot said having an interest in numbers and finance helps fuel his passion for the job.

“I love putting the pieces together and being able to help someone who has suffered a theft or financial loss. Sometimes the loss is small, but other times it’s big and devastating – these are the cases that make you feel like you’ve really made a difference in their lives when you can find the person responsible,” he said.

The list of crimes under Fontenot’s jurisdiction are many, but most consist of identity theft, forgery and bank fraud through scams. Surprisingly, he said, the victims in these cases often turn out to be banking institutions.

“In most circumstances banks will issue a refund to the customer, so it is the banking institution that we work with in these investigations. All members of the financial crime team have developed excellent working relationships with our local banks here and without them being such willing partners with us in these cases, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have. These great working relationships make all the difference,” said Fontenot.

It is that great working relationship with the local banks that resulted in the award of Fontenot. Each year, the Louisiana Bankers Association recognizes outstanding law enforcement officers who assist banks with the investigation of financial crimes. Fontenot was one of two recipients to receive the award, which is nominated by bankers across the state.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso described Fontenot’s job as “complex and tedious,” but said her commitment to her work makes her stand out from the crowd.

“Det. Fontenot is a hardworking deputy committed to investigating economic crimes for the victims of our parish. I am very pleased that his hard work and commitment to our community is being recognized. Financial crimes are complex and tedious and require a dedicated investigator like Detective Fontenot. I am proud to say that he works for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office,” said Mancuso.


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About the Author: Chaz Cutler

My name is Chasity. I love to follow the stock market and financial news!