crime

Katrina Recovery Fraud
12:46 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Ex-pastor sentenced to 10 years for stealing $1M

A former New Orleans pastor has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing nearly $1 million in disaster loan payments meant to rebuild a church after Hurricane Katrina.

Toris Young pleaded guilty in January to theft of government funds and mail fraud. The sentence handed down Thursday by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier was roughly twice that recommended in federal sentencing guidelines.

Young also must pay $963,900 in restitution to the Small Business Administration.

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Latest News
11:33 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Former bank manager pleads guilty to embezzlement

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says a former manager of a Whitney Bank branch in Metairie has admitted stealing more than $56,000 from the bank.

He says 50-year-old Karen Sork pleaded guilty Wednesday to bank theft, and could get up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, and restitution.

Film Tax Credits
8:45 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Setbacks for agency in recovering film tax credits

Officials from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development say the only action they could take against two companies that received about $935,000 in ineligible state motion picture tax credits is to file a civil action lawsuit.

Legislative auditors say members of the state economic development agency improperly issued thousands of tax credits for expenditures made by two companies involved in making a documentary about the Mardi Gras season called "Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras: Building of the Greatest Free Show on Earth."

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Latest News
8:56 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Woman collected mother's Social Security 13 1/2 years after death

Federal prosecutors say a 75-year-old woman has admitted collecting her mother's Social Security payments for 13½ years after her mother died.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says Shirley A. Bunda of Gretna got more than $173,000 to which she wasn't entitled, and pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of theft of government funds.

A news release says Bunda and her mother shared a joint checking account, and her mother's Social Security payments came by direct deposit.

Latest News
12:17 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

Court hears ex-officers' appeals in Katrina case

Two former New Orleans police officers have asked a federal appeals court to throw out their convictions on charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a man whose burned body turned up in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also on Wednesday heard the Justice Department's appeal of a judge's decision to order a new trial for a third officer, Travis McCabe.

McCabe was convicted of writing a false report on Henry Glover's 2005 shooting.

The panel didn't indicate when it would rule.

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St. Charles Parish Burglaries
11:26 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Unlocked homes lead to St. Charles Parish burglaries

An increase in home burglaries in St. Charles Parish has deputies making a simple warning to residents: Lock your doors.

WWL-TV reports that five burglaries have been reported in the parish in the last few days, most recently in St. Rose and Luling. The burglaries have usually happened in the middle of the day.

Residents of each home had left their back door unlocked.

World
10:46 am
Wed July 11, 2012

El Salvador's Streets Safer, Thanks To Gang Truce

El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world. But police say murders have been cut in half since March. That's when a former guerilla and a catholic bishop brokered a truce between two of the country's most violent gangs. Guest host Maria Hinojosa talks with Alex Sanchez, a former gang member, and director of the gang intervention group Homies Unidos. Hinojosa is also joined by Carlos Dada, editor of an online newspaper in El Salvador.

Latest News
4:59 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Missing student case to be taken up by grand jury

Officials say a grand jury next week will consider the case involving the man accused of kidnapping and murdering college student Mickey Shunick.

Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson told the Associated Press Tuesday that Brandon Scott Lavergne's case will be considered by a grand jury July 18.

Lavergne was arrested Thursday and is being held without bail at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

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Alligator Theft
1:18 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Warrants issued for Audubon alligator theft

New Orleans police have issued arrest warrants for two men suspected of stealing a bin of baby alligators from the Audubon Zoo gift shop.

Police say Audubon Security discovered the gift shop’s doors pried open, and a broken window near the shop’s bottom door latch, around 7:30 a.m. last Wednesday, just over three hours after receiving an alarm from the location. A check of the shop revealed 10 baby alligators missing from a tank within.

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Latest News
12:33 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Two killed in New Orleans shooting

Police say two men were fatally shot as they sat in a sport-utility vehicle in New Orleans.

Officer Frank Robertson tells The Times-Picayune the shooting was reported about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Robertson said the men, whose names and ages were not immediately available, were approached by someone who fired at them as they sat in the SUV. He said both men died at Interim LSU Public Hospital a short time after the shooting.

Police did not immediately have a motive for the shooting.

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