Louisiana Insurance Exec arrested for theft of nearly $ 1 million

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An owner of an insurance company and former officer for a port in Louisiana has been arrested for stealing nearly $ 1 million from his customers, according to the authorities.

Kristian Gaudet, 45, of Cut Off, was accused of two counts of felony robbery, The Courier reported.

Delegates said they began to investigate Gaudet, a former vice president of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and owner of Kris Gaudet Insurance and Financial Services, after receiving a complaint from a few about investments they had made with him.

The couple discovered discrepancies in their records for an investment of $ 350,000 to "Winston Financial", a Gaudet company that was registered in Louisiana in 2012. Authorities said that the couple's check had been deposited into the Winston Financial account and that Gaudet had transferred most of the money to another account, delegates said.

The money was used "for purposes for which it was not intended," the authorities said.

In May, another couple also invested money with Gaudet, who transferred a large part of that money to another account and used it to buy a house in Larose, deputies said.

Since 2012, Gaudet has often used money he has received from investors for personal gain, including the use of money customers who have been paid for insurance to buy property, researchers said.

The Department of Insurance (LDI) in Louisiana has issued Gaudet with a withdrawal order and his license has been suspended. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been informed of the investigation and Gaudet is excluded from any association with a financial agency in connection with FINRA.

Gaudet is being held in Lafourche prison on a $ 1 million bond. It was unknown whether he has a lawyer.

Gaudet served as vice president of the Port Commission until he was defeated on November 6 by fellow Republican Jimmy "T-Jim" LaFont. Gaudet had spent a six-year term on the committee.

The sheriff office of the Lafourche parish asks everyone who has invested with Gaudet and his company since 2012 to talk with researchers. The sheriff's office carries out this investigation in collaboration with the FBI, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry's office and the Fraud Division of LDI.

Anyone who has purchased insurance through Gaudet and his company must check their insurers to ensure that they have cover, said helper sheriffs.

Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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