Area justice of the peace plays it coy after indictment on theft, money laundering charges
TICKFAW – A Tangipahoa Parish justice of the peace was indicted this week on charges related to allegations she and another woman tried to illegally block an elderly woman's family from their inheritance upon the woman's death.
In all, Terri Crosby, the justice of the peace in the Tickfaw area, was indicted on four different charges. When reached by phone Wednesday, Crosby refused to discuss the charges or the situation surrounding the allegations.
Crosby maintained she was never questioned and hasn’t had “so much as a speeding ticket” before the grand jury in Tangipahoa Parish indicted her Tuesday.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit learned Cosby faces a felony theft over $25,000 charge, cruelty to the infirmed, exploitation of the infirmed and one count of money laundering.
Crosby refused to elaborate when reached on the phone and referenced a prepared statement she gave to the Hammond newspaper: "This indictment has absolutely nothing— zero — to do with my duties as an elected justice of the peace. I am completely innocent of any wrongdoing.”
In the statement, Crosby said the criminal indictment comes after a civil issue, but she refused to explain herself.
She continued to complain about not being given an opportunity to be questioned ahead of a criminal indictment.
“I have never ever been asked one question by any law enforcement agency until the grand jury was set,” she wrote. “This has taken a toll on me and my family, especially this time of year.”
But, the state attorney general said the allegations are especially concerning. Authorities said Crosby transferred property and finances of an 87-year-old woman with dementia into her control to claim ownership when the woman died. Doing so would deny the victim's family the inheritance, a spokesperson for Louisiana Attorney Jeff Landry told WBRZ.
The attorney general's office became involved when the district attorney in Tangipahoa Parish recused himself.
"...Elder fraud is an unlawful and immoral act and our office is committed to finding those who take advantage of our citizens," Landry said in a statement released to WBRZ.
Crosby’s attorney did not answer calls Wednesday.
Regina Raiford was also indicted in the case, the attorney general's office revealed.
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