Evidence mounts against fired property manager accused of running bogus assisted living facility
BATON ROUGE - More evidence is beginning to mount against fired property manager Andrea Lafayette that shows she was leasing apartment space at the Howell Place Apartments under her own business's name.
This week Richard Anderson claimed he paid Lafayette $740 a month to live at Howell Place Apartments. He thought he was moving into an assisted living facility, but quickly realized it was a sham. Anderson suffered a stroke three years ago and is paralyzed on one side of his body.
Anderson isn't alone in his concerns about Lafayette. Zaidra Walker's son, Aaron, can't live by himself and also moved into the Howell Place Apartments. Walker said Lafayette told her face-to-face that it was an "assisted living" facility. However, the Howell Place Apartments are not registered with the State of Louisiana as an assisted living facility. Instead, it's just an apartment complex.
Walker provided the WBRZ Investigative Unit with a lease and the cashed checks she wrote to Lafayette's company to have her son live there.
"She herself panned it off as an assisted living facility and told me everything that she could do for Aaron and how she would help Aaron," Walker said. "It was all a lie."
Walker said she realized something was fishy when she accidentally wrote a check out to the Howell Place Apartments for her son's rent one month.
"The first month I paid her cash, and she gave me a handwritten receipt," Walker said. "The second month I made a mistake and made the check out to Howell Place apartments. She told me she couldn't cash it. She made me come get it and told me it needed to be made out to P.C.A."
P.C.A. stands for Personal Care Advance or as it's listed on the Louisiana Secretary of State's website, Personal Advance Care. That's the company that is registered to Lafayette according to records the WBRZ Investigative Unit tracked down. Both the names are used in the lease agreement.
Lafayette was even using an apartment unit at the Howell Place apartments for her business's mailing address.
This week, Lafayette sat down with WBRZ attempting to set the record straight.
"I would never say that was an assistant living company...or complex," Lafayette said. "That was an apartment complex and residents loved to live at Howell Place Apartments."
Lafayette also claimed she had no idea why she had been fired.
"FDI [management company] said that they in actuality told me that I violated a rule," Lafayette said. "I asked what rule... However, FDI was a new management company in Baton Rouge. They are from Texas. The company was owned previously for another owner, and I've been there 20 years."
As Lafayette's elaborate scheme continues to be investigated through an internal investigation by the management company, Walker wants to know why she did this to our community's most vulnerable.
"I would like to know why did she lie," Walker said. "Why did she lie to us? Why did she lie to all those other people? Why the scam?"
FDI, the company that manages Howell Place told WBRZ that Lafayette and her sister Tiffany were both fired after the scheme came to light. An FDI employee said in their 30 plus years of property management, this was the first time they had ever encountered anything like this.