NOPD: Man steals $1,500 of filet mignon, and other area crime news _lowres

Filet mignon thief

High steaks theft: Man steals $1,500 of beef

New Orleans police are searching for a man who stole $1,500 of top shelf steak from the Roosevelt Hotel on Monday.

In a brazen example of daytime thievery, the man, who is in his 50s, entered the hotel’s loading dock. According to police, he pried open a locked gate and stole several boxes of filet mignon. The value of the cuts is estimated at $1,500, according to police.

Ex-Perlis CFO pleads not guilty to fraud

The former chief financial officer for Perlis­ Inc. — the upscale clothing store on Magazine Street — pleaded not guilty this week in federal court to bank fraud, identity theft and two counts of wire fraud.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Michael Sapera, 55, in January, alleging that he stole almost $3 million during his 19 years working at the clothing store. Court documents don’t name Perlis as the business where Sapera, a certified public accountant, had worked since 1990.

But Sapera’s LinkedIn page indicates that he was the CFO and director of information technology for Perlis Inc.

Sapera allegedly forged his employer’s signature on about 430 checks. He would write the checks to himself and deposit them into his own bank account, according to court documents.

The indictment further alleges that from July 2011 to August 2014, Sapera made 45 wire transfers of corporate funds to his personal account without permission by the company owners.

The second count of wire fraud alleges that from June to October 2014, Sapera transferred $35,000 from the company PayPal account to his own PayPal count, according to court documents.

In all, Sapera allegedly stole about $2.8 million.

On the bank fraud charge, Sapera could face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He’s also been served with two notices of forfeiture. Sapera is out on a $50,000 bond.

Rearraignment is scheduled for Feb. 26, suggesting that he intends to plead guilty.

NOPD looking for carjacking suspects

Police are looking for two suspects in connection with a Wednesday evening carjacking in New Orleans East.

About 6 p.m., one of the two suspects pushed a 68-year-old woman to the ground as she tried to enter her 2006 black Toyota Camry. Both suspects drove off in the car, which had been parked in the 7000 block of Read Boulevard, according to police.

The victim suffered minor wounds, and her car was found soon after in the 14500 block of Duane Road, according to police.

Man found dead on Jackson Avenue

A man was found dead in an empty lot Wednesday. The deceased was discovered about 11:50 a.m. in the 400 block of Jackson Avenue, according to police.

The cause of death and the man’s identity are not known at this time.