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Caretaker accused of exploiting wealthy BR man now facing charges in Denham Springs fraud case

1 year 1 month 4 days ago Tuesday, June 20 2023 Jun 20, 2023 June 20, 2023 3:35 PM June 20, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The caretaker of a wealthy man who has been accused of exploiting him is also a suspect in a fraud case in Livingston Parish.

An indictment accuses Melba Braud of changing the will of a man she was looking after 20 days before his death. That will was changed to make her the beneficiary of his $2 million condominium, all of his bank accounts and stocks, and half of a luxury interior design business started by his wife, Beth Claybourn.

Following the WBRZ Investigative Unit story last week, our phones have been ringing off the hook drawing a parallel to the woman we reported on and a woman who was wanted in Denham Springs for using a victim's bank card to purchase nearly $12,000 in gift cards.

Multiple people said the person wanted by Denham Springs Police is Braud. Denham Springs Police Chief Rodney Walker also said his department has received the same tips.

On Tuesday, a day after WBRZ The Investigative Unit aired a story on the Denham Springs fraud case, Chief Walker said the department had a warrant for Braud's arrest. 

A woman who knows Braud well told WBRZ: "No one was surprised that she took advantage of a dementia patient and became the executor of his estate. ... Everybody said `Yes, that's Melba, no doubt."

Braud was indicted by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury this month. The sheriff's office said she has not turned herself in yet on the three felony charges she faces. Her arraignment is scheduled for next month.

Calls to Braud's lawyer were not returned.

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