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Lake Charles man arrested for benefits fraud, identity theft

Posted at 2:30 PM, Apr 13, 2021

LAKE CHARLES, La. — The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office have arrested a Lake Charles man for government benefits fraud and illegal possession of stolen things.

In January, CPSO says that its Office Vehicle Crimes Investigative Unit received a complaint in reference to an excavator that had been stolen off private property in the area of Louisiana Avenue in Lake Charles.

During the investigation, VCIU detectives discovered Robert L. Montgomery, 50, 1563 Noelie Street, Lake Charles, was in possession of the excavator and had planned on selling it.

When detectives spoke with Montgomery, according to a release, he stated an individual who was staying next door to where the excavator was located told him the owner was getting rid of it and Montgomery could take it, at which time Montgomery paid to have the excavator moved to his property.

Montgomery was unable to provide detectives with further information on the individual who told him he could take the excavator, CPSO says.

In March, while detectives were still investigating the excavator theft, CPSO say detectives with the Financial Crimes Unit received a report in reference to identity theft.

During further investigation, CPSO say it was learned Montgomery had used a victim’s, who was an acquaintance, personal information to file a fraudulent unemployment claim with the State of Louisiana. It was discovered Montgomery had received over $8,000 in unemployment benefits since April 2020.

On April 7, Montgomery was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with illegal possession of stolen things from $25,000 or more; identity theft over $1,000; and government benefits fraud. He was released later the same day on an $8,500 bond set by Judge Tony Fazzio.

CPSO says that the victim of the excavator theft and the fraud victim are two separate victims.

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