A probation revocation hearing for former Tangipahoa Parish School Board member Eric Dangerfield, who is seeking election to his former seat, was continued at the state’s request Friday until after the Nov. 4 primary election.
Dangerfield and his wife, Cassandra, each received suspended sentences in May after pleading guilty in a Medicaid fraud case tied to their personal care business, 1st Thessalonians Community Programs in Hammond.
The state Attorney General’s Office filed a motion July 17 to have the couple’s probations revoked because they had paid only about $200 toward the court-ordered $3.5 million in restitution, fines and costs, and had failed to forfeit the home, shopping center and four luxury cars required under their plea deal.
However, the state requested a continuance in the matter until Nov. 14 or later because two attorneys assigned to the case, Kathleen Petersen and Frederick Duhy, were out of town Friday.
Appearing on the state’s behalf Friday, Assistant Attorney General Tasha Stockwell advised state District Judge Michael Erwin, of the 19th Judicial District Court, that the Dangerfields’ attorney, who was not present for the hearing, had no objection to the delay. The hearing was reset for Dec. 5.
Stockwell declined to answer any questions about the case following the court appearance.
The Dangerfields’ business filed numerous false claims for state Medicaid funding, then used the proceeds to pay their salaries, buy property and luxury vehicles, pay college tuition for their adult sons and fund Eric Dangerfield’s previous School Board campaign. The couple filed false tax returns to hide the income, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
Eric Dangerfield was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment, suspended and placed on six months’ unsupervised probation after pleading guilty to six misdemeanor counts of theft and two misdemeanor counts of tax evasion.
Cassandra Dangerfield, who pleaded guilty to one felony count of racketeering and two felony counts of tax evasion, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, suspended and placed on five years’ supervised probation.
In addition to the restitution and forfeitures, the couple also agreed to be barred for life from owning or seeking employment with any entity that receives Medicaid or Medicare funding, including school systems.
The plea deal required Eric Dangerfield to resign from the School Board — which he did on July 15 — but did not state that he could not seek re-election to the same post.
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