CPA arrested for producing child pornography
The former Chief Financial Officer for Champagne Beverage has been charged with the production of child pornography.
Charles Edward Reese, 65, of 23431 Louisiana Highway 1084, Covington, was arrested March 2 by the U.S. Marshal’s Service on a FBI warrant for the unlawful production of child pornography. He was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail, where he was still being held Tuesday afternoon.
Reese is accused of enticing and directing at least two mothers in Texas to participate in sexually explicit conduct with minors and to provide him with videos and electronic images of the conduct.
According to the FBI, Reese sent in excess of $751,000 during the course of the past eight years to a PayPal account owned by a Vidar, Texas, woman. In return for the money, the FBI alleges that the woman, who died Jan. 15 in Beaumont, Texas, provided Reese with videos of her two children, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, and her 9-year-old sister committing sexually explicit acts.
The Internet service company Photobucket.comcontacted the FBI when it detected that a user, who subscribed to its site using an email address issued to the woman, had uploaded a video in September 2011 containing suspected child pornography.
A review of the video, which shows a woman involved in sexually explicit conduct with a minor, in fact met the legal definition of child pornography, according to FBI Special Agent C.A. Day.
Family members of the woman were interviewed, and the child was identified as the woman's 2-year-old son.
On Feb. 8, Photobucket.com submitted a second referral including two more sexually explicit videos believed to be uploaded by the woman in September 2011.
Professionals at the Garth House Child Advocacy Center in Texas interviewed the woman’s daughter and sister. In the interviews, according to the report by the FBI, the daughter stated the “mother made her commit and simulate sexually explicit acts with her 2-year-old brother and her 3-year-old cousin.”
The daughter explained how her mother used her phone to take videos of the acts to send to a man she identified as “Chuck.”
According to the report, the girl stated that “Chuck” would also watch them over the computer and had brought them toys in the past, although the location of the meetings was not clear.
During her interview, according to the FBI report, the woman's sister told the professionals at Garth House that the woman worked for “Chuck” and was paid for the videos.
According to the report, the 9-year-old said the woman often asked her to participate.
Day stated in his report the sister was interviewed and positively identified Reese.
Day said the woman's adult sister was also questioned and admitted that she and her sister participated in sexual acts and acts of bestiality over the Internet for Reese.
The report states that Reese paid for the shows by sending cash through Western Union or MoneyGram.
When the FBI searched their residence on Feb. 1, the woman's sister sent a message to Reese, who told her he would send her money if she remained quiet.
According to the report, other family members have told the FBI they were aware that the woman performed sexually explicit shows on the Internet for Reese in exchange for money, but they were not aware she involved the children in the videos.
It has been noted in Day’s report that on Dec. 14, 2011, Reese allegedly sent the woman $525 through PayPal with the following notation “If you don’t get online tomorrow morning with both of them and do what I want you to this will be the last time you ever hear from me no matter what your needs are. You have screwed me enough for a lifetime of misery.”
The woman's grandmother stated she knew “Chuck” and had sent an email to him on behalf of her granddaughter. The email address she provided was Reese’s Champagne Beverage e-mail account, according to the FBI.
Pursuant to a Grand Jury subpoena, MoneyGram International provided a list of transactions sent by Reese from January 2010 to February 2012. It was discovered that Reese had sent $7,900 to another mother, also of Texas, and $2,500 to the first woman’s sister.
On Feb. 21, 2012, the second identified woman, who is currently in jail in Texas for child endangerment charges, was interviewed.
In that interview, Day said, the woman admitted she took pornographic images of her daughter, who is under the age of 7, using her cellphone and sent the images to Reese, whom she also knew as “Chuck.” She said “Chuck” paid her for the images.
Champagne Beverage was contacted and confirmed that Reese, a local CPA, had served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, but his employment there was terminated March 5.
No other information was provided by the company, and President Joel Champagne was said to be out of the office and did not return a phone message left for him by press time.
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