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.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
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The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
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Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
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Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
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High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
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The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
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