Subjects of Lee Zurik investigation arraigned on federal charge - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Subjects of Lee Zurik investigation arraigned on federal charges

Ricky Roberson and his wife, Ada Craig Roberson (FOX 8 Photo/FILE) Ricky Roberson and his wife, Ada Craig Roberson (FOX 8 Photo/FILE)
NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The owners of a non-profit who were the subjects of a FOX 8 investigation went before a federal judge on Tuesday pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy and theft.

Ricky Roberson; his wife, Ada Craig Roberson; and her mother, Melanie Duplechain operated Alternatives Living. They claimed to provide affordable housing to the elderly, homeless families and people suffering from mental disabilities. All were charged in a three-count indictment.

In November 2014, during a Lee Zurik investigation, it was found that the non-profit owed the IRS $1.3 million. At the same time, its officers spent tens of thousands of dollars on pricey meals, cars and trips, all out of the non-profits bank account.

"When it comes down to personal charges on the credit card, at our agency we are always working. Basically, we are on call 24/7,” said Ricky Roberson.

Last year, the state's legislative auditor released a review of the non-profit, showing questionable spending.

In the wake of the indictment, the Department of Health and Hospitals announced it will begin taking steps to terminate Alternatives Living from the state Medicaid Program.

A federal magistrate set bond for each at $50,000. Trial is set for Aug. 29.

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  • Zurik: Warned by auditor, Alternatives Living officials kept on spending

    Zurik: Warned by auditor, Alternatives Living officials kept on spending

    Thursday, November 13 2014 4:51 PM EST2014-11-13 21:51:05 GMT
    The state's legislative auditor is looking into a nonprofit that's spent tens of thousands of agency dollars on personal expenses. We have new questions for the nonprofit and how they've reacted to findings about their business, in this follow-up to our "Living Large" investigation.more>>
    The state's legislative auditor is looking into a nonprofit that's spent tens of thousands of agency dollars on personal expenses. We have new questions for the nonprofit and how they've reacted to findings about their business, in this follow-up to our "Living Large" investigation.more>>
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