When Eric Cloutier played hockey for the Louisiana Ice Gators he was a master when it came to taking a fall or sucking opposing players into committing penalties without drawing any heat from the referees.
Now those days on the ice are gone, and Cloutier the entrepreneur is in a lot of hot water. As a Louisiana Ice Gator, number 21, Eric Cloutier quickly became a fan favorite.
But the French Canadian had bigger plans and he was ready to work hard to achieve it. Cloutier worked in the off season catching and selling shrimp. With that money Cloutier bought his way into the bar business.
That is where agents with the State Alcohol and Tobacco Control Board say Cloutier ran into trouble with the law.
Cloutier is accused of electronically manipulating his cash registers at Marley's Sports Bar and the high end nightclub known as Karma to conceal sales transactions.
Investigators allege the scheme made it possible for Cloutier to commit tax fraud and money laundering by filing false tax returns.
During a three year period agents believe Cloutier was able to launder nearly one and a half million dollars.
Cloutier has also been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to destroy evidence related to the case, and with illegally obtaining alcohol permits for his two clubs by providing false information on the license renewal applications
At last report Cloutier is still being held on $100,000 bond. Efforts to reach Cloutier's Attorney Grady Abraham have been unsuccessful.