Felon tied to national fraud scheme back in the financial business
BATON ROUGE- A man who was arrested and convicted on theft charges over $1,500 while working a credit-repair service organization is back at it again.
Donald Batiste was issued a cease and desist order by the state from doing business during the arrest. Following court proceedings, Batiste was convicted in 2017 and ordered to pay restitution to nearly 40 victims.
Investigators found Batiste used an elaborate scheme claiming he could repair people's credit by issuing them CPN's or credit profile numbers. The numbers were social security numbers of hundreds of individuals across the nation.
In 2015, ABC News launched an investigation into the national scheme. Now, in 2019, Batiste is tied to a business again that offers a "Fix My Credit Workshop." Phone numbers listed on the flyers link straight back to Batiste.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit went looking for him and found him at his new business.
"I help people start businesses," Batiste told WBRZ.
Despite owing restitution to his old victims, Batiste told WBRZ he paid it all. That does not jibe with what the Department of Corrections says. In fact, Batiste has an upcoming probation revocation hearing in April because the state's records claim he still owes money to 23 victims totaling $12,927.
When we pressed Batiste about why he is running a business that his critics think he shouldn't be tied to, he responded, "That's some people. That's their own opinion. If you do business, make sure all your i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Do it the right way. Everyone makes mistakes. Correct them and everyone is entitled to second chances."
The Louisiana Attorney General's Office prosecuted Batiste on the original charges. In a written statement to the WBRZ Investigative Unit, a spokesman said, "It is absolutely concerning that a felon is potentially engaged in the same behavior for which he was convicted."
Batiste's financial issues may be the least of his upcoming worries though, the convicted felon is also facing a trial after he was accused of raping a 10-year-old in 2015.