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Port Allen men arrested for extortion, theft from elderly person

Monday, March 5, 2012 - 2:34pm

BELLE ROSE, LA — Last week, Assumption Parish Detectives responded to a complaint in reference to an elderly person in his 70’s being extorted for a large sum of money for an unwanted paint job at his Belle Rose residence.

The elderly resident said that during November 2011 he was contacted by a subject representing himself as a painter who was requesting to perform services at his residence. He said he did not need any painting done but the painter sprayed the roof of his shed and sprayed the asphalt roof of his house anyway.

The subject told him he owed him $5,000.00 for the job.

Shortly thereafter, he made contact with the elderly person again stating he still owed him money for the job. The subject stated “if he did not pay him the money, he was going to put a lien against his house.”

The elderly person ended up paying this subject over $10,000 as the subjects continued their extortion plot. Investigators gathered information on the male subjects and obtained a description of the truck and set up surveillance at the residence.

The elderly person later received several calls from a private number instructing him where to drop off additional monies. A Detective later made contact with the subject who stated that he was a carpenter who does small woodworking jobs and painting. The elderly victim later positively identified two subjects as the persons responsible.

On Thursday, March 1, 2012, these two subjects were taken into custody and charged as follows: Joseph L. Cooper, 29, of Port Allen was charged with Extortion and Theft of Assets of an Aged Person (3 counts).

His bond is set at $100,000 and he remains in custody at the Assumption Parish Detention Center. Joseph’s Uncle, Karl G. Cooper, 43, of Port Allen, Louisiana, was charged with Theft of Assets of an Aged Person (1 count). He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.

If you have any questions concerning this news release, please contact Sheriff Mike Waguespack at (985) 637-6392.

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