It’s not looking good for William J. Chaucer Jr.’s reign as King of Zeus in 2010.
Investigators with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office along with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested the Ponchatoula man today for allegedly creating a Ponzi scheme they say has cost at least 200 investors over $11 million dollars. The arrest is the result of a joint investigation between the AG’s Special Prosecutions Unit and Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions and was conducted under the supervision of 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux.
Chaucer was arrested on 20 counts each of the following: felony theft, unregistered dealer/salesman/investment advisor in the sale of securities, sales of unregistered securities, and making material misrepresentations in the sale of a security. He was booked into Tangipahoa Parish Prison; bond has not been set.
Chaucer is the principal of Chaucer Holding Company and finance companies Chaucer Financial Services, American Credit of Hammond, American Credit of Covington, and City Credit of Ponchatoula.
The AG says Chaucer told individual investors their money would be invested to fund one of his loan companies, but in fact, the vast majority of their money was used to finance Chaucer and his wife's extravagant lifestyle. Investigators claim investors unwittingly paid for more than $400,000 worth of Mardi Gras krewe memberships and krewe related expenses for the Chaucers, $5,500 in plastic surgery and $11,800 in cosmetic dental work for Cheryl Chaucer, $5,558 for tickets to and ads for the Senior America, Inc. pageant contest in which Mrs. Chaucer was a participant, $14,275.74 in miscellaneous photos, $20,905.74 in jewelry, and thousands more dollars associated with Mrs. Chaucer’s participation in beauty pageant events.
Chaucer closed his finance companies’ business operations in September 2009. Since then, none of the investors, whose individual investments ranged from $10,000 to $417,000, have received any funds from Chaucer or his companies. Since August, area residents and alleged victims have been posting comments to a glowing feature of the businessman in Sophisticated Woman magazine. The Northshore magazine also did a feature on Cheryl Chaucer titled "A True Louisiana Treasure."
The AG says several investors reported that requests to Chaucer to liquidate their assets and have their money returned were rejected.
DA Perrilloux will handle the prosecution of this case.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
His company bankrupt and being liquidated, the Lafayette businessman’s financial troubles are mounting.
Jefferson Street Pub continues its generous tradition with its 4th Annual Festival Preview Party this Thursday featuring Big Sam’s Funky Nation.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Pop-up dinner of chef Justin Girouard’s creations reflect farming traditions
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
newsy bits for the fam
Festival International de Louisiane is right around the corner — April 23-27 — and IND Monthly’s second annual Fest fIND contest is along for the ride.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
Georgia-based fried chicken chain would go up against Raising Cane’s, Chick-fil-A and others (like the Popeyes near its proposed location).
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The perfect color for Easter Sunday
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
A Scott businessman has pleaded guilty to failing to report a conspiracy to award Opelousas Housing Authority construction bids to his company.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
Egg-citing ideas for sharing at family gatherings
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.