A former D.C. homicide sergeant has been accused in U.S. District Court of bilking a local bank of nearly half a million dollars last March in a check-kiting scheme, U.S. Attorney Stanley S. Harris said yesterday.

Louis B. Richardson, who ran three check cashing and food stamp distribution businesses after his retirement in 1980, was charged with interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud, and faces a maximum 10 years in prison and a fine of $10,000 if convicted.

He allegedly wrote a series of insufficient-fund checks in a five-day period last March on an account he maintained at the District of Columbia National Bank, according to documents filed in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles H. Roistacher. Richardson then allegedly deposited those checks and other, valid checks into an account at the National Bank of Commerce, where he was given immediate credit for the deposits.

Richardson allegedly tried to cover the previously written bad checks by writing another series of insufficient fund checks on his National Bank of Commerce account and depositing those into the D.C. National Bank account, according to prosecutors.

He used the immediate credit extended by National Bank of Commerce, which allegedly lost about $480,000 as a result of the scheme, to write checks for cash to other people and to his businesses, according to a document called an information filed yesterday by Roistacher.

Richardson is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 31 before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Flannery. Richardson's attorney was not available for comment.

Richardson, 45, retired from the police deparment after a celebrated 20-year career during which he investigated some of the city's most publicized murder cases, including the 1971 Freeway Phantom cases in which seven girls were killed.