Employees fired after tenants claim they were tricked at apartment complex
BATON ROUGE - Two employees were fired and an investigation is underway at the Howell Place Apartments after tenants claim they were told it was an assisted living facility and moved in to find the complex offered no resources needed for assisted living.
Manager Andrea Lafayette and her sister, Assistant Manager Tiffany Lafayette were terminated by FDI, a management company near Houston, Texas. The firings came after the company learned of the misconduct.
Richard Anderson said he was paying $740 per month in cash to Andrea Lafayette for assisted living services. Anderson suffered a stroke three years ago and was left paralyzed on one side. Once he moved in, he quickly realized it was a normal apartment complex with families and the facility offered no services for those with needs.
"I was upset," Anderson said. "I feel like I was taken advantage of by this woman. She befriended me talking gospel like she was a godly person. The entire time she was taking the money and charging $700 to live in one room."
Anderson said he was promised multiple services to assist him.
"She deceived us that it was an environment where people would come in and look into our care, home-health nurses, provide meals for some of the people," Anderson said. "They weren't getting that. She said she would bring them to the store."
Anderson said he filed complaints with Lafayette and when nothing happened, he called the complex's management company.
FDI is located near the Houston area. A woman who answered the phone at their offices said she was aware of the scheme and said in their 30 plus years of property management, they've never seen anything like this. In fact, FDI confirmed to the WBRZ Investigative Unit that Andrea Lafayette was fired and so was her sister, Tiffany. They believe the two possibly covered for one another.
It's unclear how long the scheme went on or how many people were affected.
Anderson believes there's a special place for people like Lafayette who he says preyed on society's most vulnerable.
"I think you should do the right thing and stop taking advantage of people who can't help themselves who look at you for help... And people who are disabled and mentally challenged," Anderson said. "People who don't know better."
FDI said they are consulting with their legal team as an internal investigation continues. A person at the company said they could pursue criminal charges against the duo when the internal investigation wraps up.