Cajun Navy leader arrested, accused of stealing donations

October 23, 2019 GMT

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Authorities in Louisiana say the head of a group called America’s Cajun Navy has been accused of taking money donated to buy Christmas presents for children.

News outlets report 39-year-old John Adam Billiot Jr. was arrested Tuesday on charges of theft by fraud and misappropriation of funds.

Lafayette Parish Lt. John Mowell says authorities were told in September that Billiot kept most of the money from a fundraiser to help with Christmas for two foster children and their foster parents.

Billiot denied it.

Secretary of State records say Billiot created America’s Cajun Navy in September 2017, after he and others used their boats and high-water vehicles to help people in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.

It’s one of several rescue groups that have some version of Cajun Navy in their name.