Seven individuals were taken into custody for staging a car accident in Louisiana. After the staged crash, the individuals filed false insurance claims to obtain compensation for property loss and bodily injury. The crash took place in October 2016, and an investigation into the accident began in August 2018. At that time, authorities received a tip from the Louisiana Department of Insurance regarding the accident that took place at Law Street and Forstall Street in Orleans Parish.
A Louisiana investment advisor was sentenced to 14 years in a federal prison on Nov. 13 for stealing as much as $1.5 million dollars from his clients. The 71-year-old Mandeville resident was also ordered to forfeit $1.1 million and pay his investors back another $1.1 million. Should the man live long enough to complete his sentence, he will be required to serve three years of supervised release. Reports indicate that the man was sentenced as part of a plea agreement he entered into with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.
Two people in Louisiana were convicted on welfare charges after being accused of running a scheme that cost the state over $1 million in unearned benefits. A 39-year-old woman filed a guilty plea on one count of felony theft. While she only took responsibility for one criminal charge, she was also ordered to repay $1,059,709.76 in restitution for the money obtained through the fraud as well as $300,000 in civil financial penalties. She was also ordered to obtain a new home mortgage in order to repay the state of Louisiana for Medicaid funds that she had used to pay the original mortgage.
A police officer suffered life-threatening injuries when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car on the afternoon of Sept. 25 according to media reports. The officer, who has served with the Slidell Police Department for more than a decade, was escorting a funeral procession at the time of the crash. Subsequent reports indicate that the officer's condition has stabilized, but doctors have not speculated about his chances or recovery.
A criminal case against three men accused of running a $364 million Ponzi scheme serves as a reminder to investors in Louisiana to choose their money managers carefully. A federal investigation in Maryland has resulted in the arrest of three men and charges of wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. Convictions on any of these charges could produce 20-year prison sentences.
A Louisiana construction contractor gave an Alford plea on Sept. 4 to filing or maintaining false public records after being accused of over 135 counts of various white collar crimes in several separate parishes. The 41-year-old man maintained his innocence but said that the plea was in his best interest. In an Alford plea, a person can plead guilty without admitting to the criminal act and while continuing to assert innocence. The man, along with his company, Complete Construction Contractors LLC, was accused of insurance fraud, theft, extortion and contractor fraud, among other issues in Livingston, Ascension, East Baton Rouge, St. John the Baptist and Terrebonne parishes.
Football fans in Louisiana and around the country will likely know Mychal Kendricks best as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles team that won Super Bowl LII. Reduced playing time prompted the former second-round draft pick to sign with the Cleveland Browns in June 2018, but media reports reveal that the Browns released him on Aug. 29 after media outlets reported that federal prosecutors had charged him with insider trading.
Many legal observers were surprised in 2016 when a Louisiana federal judge sentenced a Hollywood film producer to probation for defrauding the state's film tax credit program. This raised eyebrows because the producer was spared prison time despite sentencing guidelines that called for a custodial sentence of between 14 and 17 years. After issuing the sentence, the judge accused the prosecutors involved of being mean-spirited and overly zealous.
Police in Louisiana have taken six people into custody and are searching for two others in connection with an identity theft ring. The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office says that the group rummaged through garbage cans outside a Hammond loan business to find documents containing sensitive information. The scheme is said to have been in operation for about a year and 45 victims have been identified so far according to media accounts.
The finance manager of an auto dealership in Monroe, Louisiana, was charged with forgery and theft in connection with a scheme to steal down payments from customers. These alleged white collar crimes came to light when a customer attempted to obtain the registration, license plate and payment booklet for a vehicle she purchased.