More charges pending for man accused in scam - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

More charges pending for man accused in scam

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Michael Derrick (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Michael Derrick (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

It was back in January that 44-year-old Michael Derrick walked into the Mes Ami Salon in Westlake selling tickets for plate lunches to benefit his son with cancer.

"I felt bad for the child to have cancer and to be going through that. I've heard similar stories of bone marrow transplants and that they are very painful. I'm sure for a family with no income that would be a very bad experience - so I felt sorry for him," said Ami Daigle, owner of Mes Ami Salon.

At $15 a piece, Daigle purchased two tickets. The barber shop next door purchased another three tickets. Derrick even gave them a receipt. The lunches were to be delivered on Friday, Feb. 15. Daigle even wrote it down in her appointment book. However, the food never was delivered.

"And they didn't show up when we all did not leave for lunch. But we still didn't think that much about it. We just assumed they got busy and side-tracked and forgot and it was really no big deal and the money went to a good cause," said Daigle.

Daigle had all but forgotten about it until she saw Derrick's mugshot on KPLC. According to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, an investigation was launched after an employee of another local business also purchased tickets from Derrick. The lunches were to be prepared by a local restaurant. Investigators said when an employee of that business called the restaurant to order more lunches, they were advised that the restaurant was not hosting any benefit.

The investigation revealed Derrick sold over 75 dinners under false pretenses, collecting approximately $800 from a total of five local businesses.

"I was dumb-founded that someone would use their child as an excuse to extort money from people," said Daigle.

Daigle and her friends next door also filed a complaint with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.

While she'll question the next solicitor who comes through the door, she said if they sincerely need help she'll likely do what she can.

"Yeah, I would. Hopefully, that person would really need it. I have a hard time not helping anyone who really needs help. So, yes. It's just sad that he did that," said Daigle.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said they have received more calls from other area businesses and are investigating each case. They said more charges could be filed.

Meanwhile, Derrick remains in the Calcasieu Correctional Center charged with theft over $500. His bond is set at $72,300.

Anyone that has been scammed in this way is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 491-3605.

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