In an unexpected twist to a story covered by PINAC in April, Maxine Trahan, former spokesperson for the Acadia Louisiana Sheriff’s Department, was arrested again Wednesday morning on charges of Exploitation of the infirm and one for Felony Theft. The new charges relate to the alleged theft of more than $40,000 from a elderly woman who Trahan drove to doctor’s appointments and sometimes ran errands for.
Trahan was first arrested in April after PINAC investigated allegations she was receiving more than 50 overtime hours each week on her sheriff’s deputy payroll check. Those allegations have yet to be addressed by local law enforcement.
Acadia Parish District Attorney Keith Stutes’ office began their own investigation into allegations that Trahan was stealing from the drug siezure fund. That investigation found that Trahan had failed to deposit over $40,000 of drug seizure money that was given to her to deposit by local police agencies on several different occasions. Trahan was charged then with felony theft and booked into the Acadia Parish Jail. She was released the same day after posting a property bond valued at $50,000.
Which brings us to the twist in this story.
It turns out that the property mortgaged by the $50k release bond was put up by an elderly acquaintance of Trahan who didn’t have the capacity to understand what she was doing when she signed the paperwork for the bond.
As reported by KATC.com;
“Maxine Trahan is accused of using an elderly woman’s home and property as bond for release on her original criminal charges – without the older woman’s knowledge or consent.
The warrant for Trahan’s arrest details the incident.
The warrant says that Trahan had known the woman for some time, and drove her to doctor visits and other errands. The lady in question was an older lady who has had a stroke that left her paralyzed on one side and has a history of dementia. The lady’s caregiver called police after hearing about Trahan’s original arrest in April, concerned that Trahan might have taken advantage of the older lady.
The lady told investigators that she was driven to Crowley back in April, where they then signed some papers for Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Deputies at the Acadia Parish Correctional Center in Crowley.
Investigators determined that the documents were putting up the lady’s property and home for Trahan’s appearance bond. The lady told investigators she did not know why she was taken to Crowley, nor what the paperwork was, and she had no idea she had signed papers posting her property to bond Trahan out of jail, the warrant states.
The deputy who prepared the property bond told investigators that the lady was confused and didn’t appear to know what she was signing. That deputy said she believed the lady would have “signed anything put in front of her,” the warrant states. The deputy told investigators that she was instructed to prepare the paperwork and that she wasn’t responsible for making sure anyone understands it.”
A state police investigation found that Trahan also had her name placed on the victim’s checking account and then wrote herself $23,000 worth of checks and she allegedly drove the victim to the bank to cash out a certificate of deposit worth $20,000 then deposited the money into the same drug seizure account she is accused of stealing from before. She later claimed to have found the money in a drawer.
Trahan bonded out of jail in Lafayette Parish but was immediately transported to Acadia Jail to repost her original $50,000 bond. She was released late Wednesday afternoon.