Developer exposed by WWL-TV pleads guilty to federal theft charges (ties to Jindal) [View all]
NEW ORLEANS -- Based on the findings of our Eyewitness Investigation, federal authorities have charged a developer with close ties to Gov. Bobby Jindal with fraudulently billing a state Katrina recovery program.
Praveen Kailas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government funds and one count of theft of government funds.
He was charged in June and agreed to plead guilty Aug. 1. The case was unsealed Tuesday by Chief U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Inspector General launched a probe of Kailas’ company, Lago Construction, in October 2012, after Eyewitness News collected thousands of pages of Lago billing records and questioned how employees could have claimed hours working as construction monitors on the state’s Small Rental Property Program when witnesses and other documentary evidence showed they were actually working on other projects.