Top News

The New Orleans hotel owner is accused of conspiring with a NOPD officer to file false reports

New details from a state investigation into a prominent political campaigner and owner of a historic hotel show he may have been conspiring with a New Orleans Police Department officer to commit fraud. According to court documents, Fouad Zeton was charged on Thursday with conspiracy to commit fraud. Zeton is accused of colluding with a NOPD officer to file a false report of stolen art with his homeowner’s insurance company. Court documents allege that Zeton and the officer worked together to create a false report that valuable paintings were stolen from Zeton’s home. The Justice Department says Zeton’s art was never stolen and had a much lower value than he reported to his insurance company. The officer accused of collaborating with Zeton was promised money from the insured sum for filing the false reports, according to court documents. The documents further state that the officer and Zeton had spoken on the phone prior to calling 911 about the stolen art. According to court documents, both were seen pretending not to know each other in video captured by the officer’s body-worn camera. The DOJ says Zeton was captured with the body-worn camera, which made the false claim that the art was valued at $128,500. The officer is accused of filing the fake report with a claims adjuster for Zeton’s homeowners insurance company. This comes just over a year after WDSU Investigates published the story of a raid on Zeton’s Prytania Street store. FBI agents went into the store and delivered large boxes. The investigation focused on art fraud. WDSU cameras were rolling in June 2021 when the FBI retrieved the artwork from the Magnolia Mansion in the Lower Garden District. Zeton’s attorneys David Courcelle and Scott Stansbury say he’s a fighter and will get through this. Six months ago, Zeton refused to say anything about the raid. He has since rented the property to two people but went to court in May to have them evicted. Tourists staying at the villa say they have no idea about the legal issues Zeton has faced. Zeton has met with the federal government several times since the 2021 raid. His indictment date is to be determined. Previous Reports: New information on a story released by WDSU Investigations yesterday and being followed up today – Sources confirm FBI raid on Magnolia Mansion focuses on art. Multiple sources are reporting that WDSU is investigating that there is artwork in the packages that were removed from the Lower Garden District bed and breakfast yesterday. Only our cameras were rolling while the FBI was there to get the paintings out and load them onto a van. Why they were removed and have yet to be discovered. We spoke to property owner Fouad Zeton and his lawyer today but both declined to comment and said they were working on the situation. Zeton is a Syrian businessman with ties to political leaders in the city. He has become a fixture at campaign events.

New details from a state investigation into a prominent political campaigner and owner of a historic hotel show he may have been conspiring with a New Orleans Police Department officer to commit fraud.

According to court documents, Fouad Zeton was charged on Thursday with conspiracy to commit fraud.

Zeton is accused of colluding with a NOPD officer to file a false report of stolen art with his homeowner’s insurance company.

Court documents allege that Zeton and the officer worked together to create a false report that valuable paintings were stolen from Zeton’s home.

The Justice Department says Zeton’s art was never stolen and had a much lower value than he reported to his insurance company.

The officer accused of collaborating with Zeton was promised money from the insured sum for filing the false reports, according to court documents.

The documents further state that the officer and Zeton had spoken on the phone prior to calling 911 about the stolen art. According to court documents, both were seen pretending not to know each other in video captured by the officer’s body-worn camera.

The DOJ says Zeton was captured with the body-worn camera, which made the false claim that the art was valued at $128,500.

The officer is accused of filing the fake report with a claims adjuster for Zeton’s homeowners insurance company.

This comes just over a year after WDSU Investigates published the story of a raid on Zeton’s Prytania Street store.

FBI agents went into the store and delivered large boxes.

The investigation focused on art fraud. WDSU cameras were rolling in June 2021 when the FBI retrieved the artwork from the Magnolia Mansion in the Lower Garden District.

Zeton’s attorneys David Courcelle and Scott Stansbury say he’s a fighter and will get through this.

Six months ago, Zeton refused to say anything about the raid. He has since rented the property to two people but went to court in May to have them evicted.

Tourists staying at the villa say they have no idea about the legal issues Zeton has faced.

Zeton has met with the federal government several times since the 2021 raid.

His indictment date is to be determined.

Previous reports:

New information on a story WDSU Investigates released yesterday and is being followed up to this day – Sources confirm the FBI raid on the Magnolia Mansion is art-focused.

Multiple sources are reporting that WDSU is investigating that there is artwork in the packages that were removed from the Lower Garden District bed and breakfast yesterday.

Just our cameras rolling while the FBI was there, pulling out the paintings and loading them onto a van.

Why they were removed has yet to be discovered.

We spoke to property owner Fouad Zeton and his lawyer today but both declined to comment and said they were working on the situation.

Zeton is a Syrian businessman with ties to political leaders in the city.

He has become a fixture at campaign events.

Source