State Police arresting 7 on felony theft in Felicianas

May 18, 2010 | Posted by: pragmatist | Full story: www.2theadvocate.com

The State Police have started arresting seven people, including an East Feliciana Parish school board member, a West Feliciana Parish police juror, and the juror's wife and mother-in-law, on felony theft counts, West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Austin Daniel said this morning.

Details of the investigation, which was conducted by the state police, have not yet been released, Daniel said.

A East Feliciana minister, The Rev. George Veal, was the first to be booked this morning and East Feliciana School board member Oliver Wingfield of Jackson was waiting to be booked at 8:50 a.m. at the West Feliciana Parish prison.

Wingfield and Veal are directors of a Clinton non-profit organization whose building was destroyed by fire in 2008. Still to be booked are West Feliciana Police Juror John Cobb, his wife Carol, and his mother-in-law Louisa P. Jones, Daniel said.

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“Danses avec des cocodrie”

Since: Jul 07

Saint Francisville, LA

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#1
May 18, 2010
 
Fasten your seat belts and prepare for takeoff...
GEEWHIZ

Baton Rouge, LA

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#2
May 18, 2010
 
Gee.... Politicians and a Minister?????????? WTH??????????
parish resident

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#3
May 18, 2010
 
So what now? Will he continue to serve on the PJ until he is convicted? Once he is convicted who will take his seat, is there a special election, or do Simms and Dawson get to hand pick a replacement?????
SF Resident

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May 18, 2010
 

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Birds of a feather...I wonder when the rest of the flock goes down? Will canaries be singing soon?

“Danses avec des cocodrie”

Since: Jul 07

Saint Francisville, LA

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May 18, 2010
 

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http://www.wbrz.com/news/seven-arrested-in-ch...

By Brian Waldrep
Source: LSP
Updated: May 18, 2010 1:55 PM

Several individuals who allegedly took part in a check-cashing scheme designed to take money from a church in St. Francisville, are under arrest.

Union Bethel Family Church leaders contacted Louisiana State Police to investigate the improper handling of church monetary funds by John and Carol Cobb dating back to December 2008.

The church became aware of the scheme after a bank employee contacted the church to notify them of a large overdraft of the church account, which exceeded $11,000.

After reviewing bank records, detectives uncovered a series of transactions that originated from a check that was written to the Union Bethel Family Church for $80,000.

The check was issued to Union Bethel Family Church from the Feliciana Enrichment Center, Inc. and signed by the company's president and vice-president, Oliver Wingfield and George Veal.

After signing the check, Wingfield and Veal turned it over to John Cobb. In exchange, Cobb provided Veal with two $25,000 checks written from the Church account by Cobb and signed by church members Louisa Jones and John Cobb's wife, Carol.

Detectives also discovered during the course of the investigation that John Cobb received and cashed several other checks from Union Bethel Family Church totalling over $6,000.

State Police detectives charged the following individuals with Felony Theft in excess of $500 and booked them into the West Feliciana Parish Jail:

John Cobb, B/M, age 58
Carol Cob, B/F, age 48
John B. Perry, B/M, age 62
David DeLoach, B/M, age 55
Oliver Wingfield, B/M, age 79
Louisa A. Jones, B/F, age 67
George Veal, B/M, age 61

We will have a full report on this developing story, later today on News 2.

“Danses avec des cocodrie”

Since: Jul 07

Saint Francisville, LA

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#6
May 18, 2010
 

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http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp...

Feliciana officials arrested in check cashing scheme
Posted: May 18, 2010 5:24 PM CDT
Updated: May 18, 2010 6:41 PM CDT

WEST FELICIANA PARISH, LA (WAFB)- A reverend, a school board member and a police juror spent some time in the West Feliciana Jail Tuesday, along with several others. State police say they couldn't believe the lengths their seven suspects went to, trying to pull off an alleged check cashing scheme that went on for more than a year.

A newly built church along Highway 66, the route to Angola, served as a front for what State Police call a convoluted check cashing ring.

"They went through so many steps and stages to try to perpetrate fraud," said Sgt. Marcus Smith with the State Police. "It was really complex, but unfortunately on their part it wasn't well thought out."

Smith says Reverend George Veal and East Feliciana Parish School Board Member Oliver Wingfield ran a nonprofit organization in Clinton.

It burned down in 2008. Smith says the pair donated $80,000 in insurance money to Union Bethel Family Church.

In November, West Feliciana Sheriff Austin Daniels got some news he calls disturbing.

"Some Deacons from Union Bethel Family Church came to me with allegations that money had been misused and misappropriated in the church," said Sheriff Daniels.

Daniels turned things over to State Police. Smith says the church's bank account was overdrawn by $11,000.

The suspects were allegedly passing checks between themselves and reportedly moving the money through at least four separate accounts to cover their tracks.

"I was disappointed," said Daniels. "I was really surprised at the allegations."

Following a nearly six month investigation, police say they also found that West Feliciana Police Juror John Cobb was involved in the alleged scheme, along with his wife Carol and mother-in-law Louisa Jones.

Smith says John Perry and David DeLoach from East Feliciana Parish were paid for contract work on the church that they never performed.

"They went through a very complex series of transactions to perpetuate this fraud," said Smith. "But no matter how you look at it, it's theft. And it's theft from the church."

All seven people were charged with Felony Theft of more than $500. They bonded out of the West Feliciana Parish Jail Tuesday morning.
Resident70775

Ponchatoula, LA

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May 18, 2010
 

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Lady Zoot of the Delta wrote:
http://www.wbrz.com/news/seven -arrested-in-church-fraud-sche me/
By Brian Waldrep
Source: LSP
Updated: May 18, 2010 1:55 PM
Several individuals who allegedly took part in a check-cashing scheme designed to take money from a church in St. Francisville, are under arrest.
Union Bethel Family Church leaders contacted Louisiana State Police to investigate the improper handling of church monetary funds by John and Carol Cobb dating back to December 2008.
The church became aware of the scheme after a bank employee contacted the church to notify them of a large overdraft of the church account, which exceeded $11,000.
After reviewing bank records, detectives uncovered a series of transactions that originated from a check that was written to the Union Bethel Family Church for $80,000.
The check was issued to Union Bethel Family Church from the Feliciana Enrichment Center, Inc. and signed by the company's president and vice-president, Oliver Wingfield and George Veal.
After signing the check, Wingfield and Veal turned it over to John Cobb. In exchange, Cobb provided Veal with two $25,000 checks written from the Church account by Cobb and signed by church members Louisa Jones and John Cobb's wife, Carol.
Detectives also discovered during the course of the investigation that John Cobb received and cashed several other checks from Union Bethel Family Church totalling over $6,000.
State Police detectives charged the following individuals with Felony Theft in excess of $500 and booked them into the West Feliciana Parish Jail:
John Cobb, B/M, age 58
Carol Cob, B/F, age 48
John B. Perry, B/M, age 62
David DeLoach, B/M, age 55
Oliver Wingfield, B/M, age 79
Louisa A. Jones, B/F, age 67
George Veal, B/M, age 61
We will have a full report on this developing story, later today on News 2.
I don't believe that the report James Minton reported had the race of the people. I guess just you just want to make sure everybody knows that these people are black. Wrong is wrong no matter what the race is.
Sally

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May 18, 2010
 

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What the heck is Feliciana Enrichment Center and why would they give all that money to a church in another parish? Because they could get it back under the table? Unfortunately it looks like this is the criminal mentality of nearly the whole WF Police Jury.
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May 18, 2010
 

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I wonder what Becky at the Democrat will print in the paper now. She didn't think it was newsworthy before. Do you think Simms will allow it to be printed in his newspaper?
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May 18, 2010
 

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Resident70775 wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't believe that the report James Minton reported had the race of the people. I guess just you just want to make sure everybody knows that these people are black. Wrong is wrong no matter what the race is.
Lady Zoot simply copied what was on channel 2 website. Donít try to muddy the waters with the race card. The congregation, of this rural black community church, are the ones that have been shouting from the roof tops that this had been going on. It has NOTHING to do with them being black.
WFResident4

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May 18, 2010
 

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AmBecky will not eat crow as she is the best reporter at the Democrat.
The Feliciana Enrichment Center is a community center which was graciously built through large donations from the original owner of The Bluffs.
Recently the Center was destroyed by fire, I believe.
Insurance money was awarded by they (operating as a 501-c-3) decided not to reopen. Thus, the money had to be dispersed by donation to a similar organization, non-profit 501-c3 (?) Does Cobb's church qualify? I not sure, churches can fall under different status.
Only my humble opinion, but this is probably when J Cobb stepped in with this wonderful idea to donate the money to his (Cobb's) family-run church. Ergo, the arrest for Cobb and family since the money didn't go to Cobb's church and with Cobb giving each of the two,$25,000, which accounts for the other two arrested. That leaves one person?
I don't have any background, other than Law & Order, but by moving the money 4 times through different banks would that be 4 counts of theft?
Now will the DA ask to go directly to trail, put it before the grand jury or send it to the Attorney Generals office in BR. I believe it will be the later since the state police did the investigating and the DA represents the police jury as a whole body. Not an individual juror. The parishes DA will probably recuse himself.
No idea as this wasn't covered in Law & Order, at least not yet.
WFResident4

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May 18, 2010
 

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Oh by the way, Becky is the only reporter on the Democrat.
Sosad

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May 18, 2010
 

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I hope we will hear from Mr. Cobb soon. He needs to get his voice out there and tell his side of this story.
Hondeaux

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#14
May 18, 2010
 

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What kind of people would swindle their own church? When my daughter was sick, the good, honest and decent people from many of the churches in this parish sent her money and supported us with love, kindness and encouragement. If these allegations are accurate that these seven people swindled this wonderful little church -- and at this point they are just allegations -- I hope they will be rewarded for their greed, not only in this life but in the next one as well.

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