Nov 19, 2009 11:51 AM by sleonard
(Baton Rouge, LA)-Investigators with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office, with the assistance of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, arrested William J. Chaucer, Jr., of Ponchatoula, Louisiana today for creating a Ponzi scheme that has cost at least 200 investors over $11 million dollars. This arrest is the result of a joint investigation between the Louisiana Attorney General's Office Special Prosecutions Unit and Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions, conducted under the supervision of District Attorney Scott Perrilloux.
Chaucer was arrested on twenty counts each of the following:
·Unregistered Dealer/Salesman/Investment Advisor in the Sale of Securities
·Sales of Unregistered Securities
·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 the following finance companies: Chaucer Financial Services; American Credit of Hammond; American Credit of Covington; and City Credit of Ponchatoula.
The essence of the charges is that Chaucer told individual investors that their money would be invested to fund one of his loan companies; in fact, the vast majority of their money was used to finance the extravagant lifestyle of William and Cheryl Chaucer. Investors unwittingly paid for, among other things, over $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. Several investors reported that requests to Chaucer to liquidate their debentures and have their money returned were rejected.
District Attorney Scott Perrilloux will handle the prosecution of this case.