LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- With the arrest of founder of America’s Cajun Navy, John Billiot Jr., News 10 takes a look a look at the timeline of events that led to his arrest.
On December 29, 2018, a little boy went missing out of Evangeline Parish.
The FBI, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, State Police and multiple agencies and volunteers worked together to look for the boy.
One of those agencies helping with, and sometimes leading the search was America’s Cajun Navy.
The boy was found, and on December 30, 2018 the boy’s parents, Paul and Minette Thibodeaux, were arrested and booked into the Evangeline Parish jail on the charge of cruelty to juveniles.
The boy and his sister were taken from their parents’ custody and placed in foster care– that’s what led Billiot to start a fundraiser for them which included a GoFundMe account which raised $7,500.
According to the GoFundMe page, the money was to be used for “helping get the kids a great Christmas and things they will need to have on a daily basis.” Billiot wrote the money would “also help for school uniforms, supplies” and more.
But according to Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, only a portion of the funds collected were used for the benefit of the foster children as intended. They say Billiot kept the majority of the donated funds.
Billiot was arrested and charged with felony theft by fraud and misappropriation of funds.