Authorities collect $250,000 in restitution from Kinder man

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Federal authorities have collected nearly $250,000 in restitution from an 18-year-old Kinder man for damage caused when he burned an Elton convenience store during a burglary.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, in December 2011, Jordan Hawk John, a member of the Coushatta Indian Tribe, was charged with simple burglary after he set fire to the store.

The fire reportedly caused $249,999.94 worth of damage.

John pleaded guilty in January to simple burglary and was sentenced in May to one year in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi ordered John to pay the full amount of the fire damage plus a $1,000 fine and a $100 victim witness assessment fee.

Authorities say after sentencing, the Financial Litigation Unit (FLU) for the U.S. Attorney's Office discovered through a subpoena that, although John had not paid the ordered restitution, he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in a trust account belonging to him.

Because of the efforts of FLU in seeking the money from this account, on July 16, John paid $251,099.94, which covered the full court-ordered restitution owed to the CCMSI Steadfast Insurance Company and the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, the fine and assessment fee.

Authorities say jurisdiction in Indian Country is based upon the unique sovereign relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. Congress has criminalized certain acts that take place in Indian Country.

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