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Cajun Navy group changes its name

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Posted at 1:09 PM, Nov 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-04 14:09:02-05

At least one Cajun Navy group has changed its name to cut down on confusion.

Cajun Navy 2016, a group based in Walker, has changed its name to Pinnacle Search and Rescue, its Facebook page indicates.

Board member John Able said the change has been in the works for some time, because there is so much confusion surrounding the "Cajun Navy" groups. There are many groups that contain those words; the Secretary of State's business records show at least 16 entities registered with "Cajun Navy" in their name. There are about 10 Facebook pages for groups with that in the name, and some of them aren't in the SOS records.

Able said his group's change was in response to that confusion. He said it didn't have anything to do with the recent arrest of the director of another Cajun Navy incarnation recently for fraud.

"This is something that has been in the works for a while," Able said. "We just wanted to step away and be our own entity, so people don't get us confused with other groups anymore."

John Billiot Jr., who describes himself as the founder of "America's Cajun Navy," was booked last month on an active warrant accusing him of felony theft, records show. He was released after posting a $7,500 bond.

According to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office, the investigation began in September.

The victim advised that John Billiot, Jr., started a GoFundMe account to aid in the care of specific foster children and their foster parents. The GoFundMe account was set up to generate money to assist the children and the foster parents with their care as well as for Christmas Presents for the children.

Only a portion of the funds derived from this GoFundMe account were used for the benefit of the foster children as intended. The majority of the funds allegedly were retained by Billiot.

Billiot is accused of felony theft by fraud and misappropriation of funds.