Third Suspect Arrested For Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme
A third person was arrested Tuesday in connection with a national financial fraud scheme that has resulted in the theft of more than 300 identities and more than $5 million in fraud.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said 26-year-old Jessica Clements-Batiste was charged with racketeering and criminal conspiracy to commit racketeering for her role in helping carry out an elaborate scheme which defrauded hundreds of individuals, banks and other businesses.
Clements-Batiste aided her ex-husband Donald Batiste in providing bogus credit repair services for a fee through his company Best, Inc. in Baton Rouge. In the scheme, Batiste and his colleagues issued stolen social security numbers under the guise that they were credit profile numbers used by clients to obtain bank loans and secure various lines of credit.
The attorney general reported the criminal enterprise resulted in the purchase of more than 50 vehicles, causing more than $1 million in funded automobile loans. Stolen Social Security numbers used to submit hundreds of online applications caused more than $3 million in pre-approved automobile loans. More than $1.2 million was disbursed on other services, including credit lines at clothing and jewelry stores, credits cards from various banks and cellular phone purchases.
Clements-Batiste, who currently resides in Texas and is the ex-wife of Donald Batiste, was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish prison early Tuesday. Co-conspirators Donald Batiste and Brenda Taylor were arrested in late September on the same charges.