Prosecutors reportedly plan to move forward with additional, similar charges that are still pending.
Elijah Mealancon was found guilty of one count of unauthorized use of a movable after a one-day bench trial. Mealancon, 58, was accused of taking $33,000 from the victim, and never completed renovating her home as promised.
Mealancon was the lead pastor at the mobile Elijah Christian Ministries. He convinced a number of people to sign their Road Home grant checks over to him after the storm, under the idea that their restoration money could go further if pooled together, the news outlet reports. Mealancon offered to purchase supplies and organize teams of volunteers to help in the rebuilding efforts.
Hurricane victims later complained the home repairs were not completed, their restoration funding was never returned, and said Mealancon could not be contacted for an explanation, according to Nola.com.
Mealancon was remanded into custody of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office after the verdict was announced. He will be sentenced Dec. 17.