Judge will not reduce bond of woman accused of scamming Essence Festival travelers

A FOX 8 Defenders Investigation

Essence Travel Scam Bond Hearing

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -A woman accused of scamming over $80,000 from festival goers will appeared in Jefferson Parish court Friday morning for a bond reduction hearing.

Judge Ellen Kovach denied the request, leaving Nakeshia Washington with a $100,000 bond and house arrest if she gets out of jail.

Washington was part of a FOX 8 Defenders investigation.

The incident started in August when Washington became the center of an investigation along with her travel agency OBL.

Several victims came forward after giving Washington thousands of dollars to attend Essence Festival. They then said they found out their reservations had not been paid off.

Prosecutors said between $180,000 and $280,000 was taken from the victims and the suspect should not be granted a bond reduction.

Defense attorneys asked for the reduction because Washington has family, children and a home.

Deputies arrested Washington on theft and computer fraud charges.

She bonded out of jail on a $45,000 bond after that arrest.

In November, she was arrested again in Jefferson Parish on three new theft charges and three new computer fraud charges.

Detectives said there will likely be more charges as new victims come forward.

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