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'It Takes Lives to Save Lives' founder blew donations at casinos, dealt cocaine, feds say

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Twitter I'm not surprised at this, always looked shady to me; what does surprise me is that the Saints organization failed in vetting this... Twitter...

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:03 AM   #1
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I'm not surprised at this, always looked shady to me; what does surprise me is that the Saints organization failed in vetting this...

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Old 02-11-2019, 09:04 AM   #2
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Re: 'It Takes Lives to Save Lives' founder blew donations at casinos, dealt cocaine, feds say

Feds: Despite group's purpose, donations were not used to pay for founder's son's medical care

BY RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS | rvargas@theadvocate.com Feb 1, 2019 - 3:43 pm

When Jordy Robertson launched his ballyhooed “It Takes Lives to Save Lives” organization, he claimed its purpose was to raise money to help his teenage son fight a rare liver disease.

But the Medicaid program covered almost all of his son’s medical expenses, so Robertson pocketed the tens of thousands of dollars donated to “It Takes Lives” and blew through them at casinos and retail stores, authorities alleged in a stunning criminal complaint unsealed Friday in New Orleans federal court.

Among the money that Robertson is apparently suspected of spending on himself or gambling away was part of a $25,000 donation from Saints owner Gayle Benson and her late husband, Tom. The Bensons in July 2017 pledged to help pay for the medical care of the defendant’s son, Jarrius “JJ” Robertson, a 16-year-old Louisiana sports superfan.

The federal complaint also accuses Jordy Robertson, a St. John the Baptist Parish resident, of selling cocaine supplied to him by a man named Porfirio Garcia.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Robertson on Thursday night, about three months after they raided his home and a business office associated with “It Takes Lives.” Robertson appeared in federal court Friday morning and was ordered held without bail until Monday.

His attorney couldn’t immediately be reached Friday.

Jarrius Robertson, the public face of “It Takes Lives,” is not accused of wrongdoing in the complaint sworn by DEA Task Force Officer Jason Renton.

In court documents, the DEA makes clear that one of the reasons Robertson fell under scrutiny was that he marketed “It Takes Lives” as a nonprofit organization soliciting donations to raise awareness about organ transplants for children.

His son has undergone two liver transplants while battling biliary atresia, a disease that slows his growth.

But “It Takes Lives,” which also had the mission of helping Jarrius Robertson fight his illness, is not a tax-exempt nonprofit. Jordy Robertson, 35, set it up as a limited liability company in 2016, and he is its sole operator.

In the ensuing years, “It Takes Lives” raised about $45,000 through a well-publicized GoFundMe campaign, mainly through nearly 900 small donations. A bank account associated with Robertson received another $45,000 in cash and deposits from various sources, including Paypal, which can also be used to take donations.

Among the largest donations mentioned in the complaint were $20,000 from an unnamed hospital group and $25,000 from an unidentified benefactor.

But Ochsner Health System in the past has publicized the medical treatment it provided — and the friendship its staff formed with — Jarrius Robertson. And the Bensons’ $25,000 gift to Jarrius Robertson nearly two years ago was also well publicized by media outlets.

An Ochsner spokeswoman couldn’t immediately be reached. A Saints spokesman said the organization had no comment.

Nonetheless, after reviewing records and interviewing the family, the DEA eventually concluded that no donations were needed to pay for Jarrius Robertson’s medical care. That care was either covered by Medicaid or adjusted by Ochsner, the feds said.

Robertson’s family did need to pay for a hotel stay and other small expenses surrounding one of Jarrius’ liver transplants. But “Jordy Robertson did not contribute to those expenses at the time,” the DEA said.

Meanwhile, the DEA said, agents learned that Robertson withdrew nearly $50,000 at local casinos, including $44,000 at Kenner’s Treasure Chest.

Robertson has lost more than $150,000 at Treasure Chest over the years, mostly at table games, the DEA added. He lost roughly half of that amount between 2016 and last year, according to the complaint.

The DEA said Robertson also spent money raised through “It Takes Lives” at grocery stores, gas stations, Home Depot, Walmart and McDonald’s.

In addition, a convicted drug dealer who became a DEA informant told the agency in May 2017 that Robertson was selling cocaine and heroin provided to him by Garcia.

Robertson provided the informant a sample of the drugs he sold, according to the DEA, which recorded meetings and telephone communications between the two. But a deal the pair pursued fell apart when a second informant told Garcia not to sell anything to the first informant, the DEA said.

The agency, which didn’t identify the informants, questioned Robertson twice.

Once, he allegedly said he knew Garcia, who had offered Robertson the chance to sell cocaine at $30,000 a kilogram.

The DEA then told Robertson they had a wiretap of the man they suspected was his cocaine supplier before Garcia. The feds contend that Robertson responded, “A few years ago, you had me, but I changed my life around, and I’m not in the game anymore because of my kid.”

Garcia is facing federal drug distribution charges himself.

The agency again spoke with Robertson on Oct. 24, when his home and office were raided. He denied using money raised by “It Takes Lives” on personal expenses or gambling and said he made his money working in construction and other “knick knack” jobs.

Late last month, the feds said, Robertson posted a message on social media referring to one of the informants by name and insulting him as a “***** ass … DEA agent.”

He also is accused of driving around looking for that person while holding a gun, the DEA said.

After Robertson’s arrest Thursday, agents jailed him at the St. Charles Parish correctional center in Killona. He was booked on counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, wire fraud and witness retaliation.

Despite his father’s alleged misdeeds, Jarrius Robertson’s life story has served as an inspiration for many people. He and his father were fixtures at Louisiana sports events, including Saints, Pelicans and LSU games in recent years, with the teams' members expressing their support for him during television interviews and on social media.

The younger Robertson received awards from World Wrestling Entertainment and ESPN that are frequently given to people who show courage in the face of difficult circumstances.

Will we ever learn? Never let it come down to the officiating...
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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Re: 'It Takes Lives to Save Lives' founder blew donations at casinos, dealt cocaine, feds say

Wow, guess Sean didn't get the memo about the raid three months earlier...

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Old 02-14-2019, 01:29 PM   #4
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Re: 'It Takes Lives to Save Lives' founder blew donations at casinos, dealt cocaine, feds say

Wow! Just Wow!!!
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: 'It Takes Lives to Save Lives' founder blew donations at casinos, dealt cocaine, feds say

That's disgusting. What a piece of ****.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:54 PM   #6
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Re: 'It Takes Lives to Save Lives' founder blew donations at casinos, dealt cocaine, feds say

I am of the opinion the whole Jarrius thing has ran its course 3 years ago. Its ran into the ground and should of went away about a year after he had successful surgery. The kid is making bank literally and so was his father apparently. Mother most likely as well.
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