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Items seized from fraud suspect up for auction
Man accused of bilking more than $3.6M from nuns.

By Keri Kirby

Dozens of items seized from the home of the 51-year-old Haughton man accused of bilking more than $3.6 million from a Shreveport order of Catholic nuns soon will be up for auction.

Two hundred lots, including everything from a 2005 Jaguar and electronics to an engagement ring and several bedroom suites, will be up for bid Nov. 5 through Lawler Auction Co.

The items were seized in connection with a criminal indictment and involuntary bankruptcy case against Woodrow Hayes Sr. according to company's Web site.

Hayes is accused of approaching the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross on numerous occasions from December 2003 to November asking for money so he could pay his house note to avoid being evicted and to cover costs associated with a lawsuit filed against him by a contractor.

He was indicted May 25 by a federal grand jury on 39 counts of wire fraud, seven counts of money laundering and one count of criminal forfeiture. Hayes pleaded not guilty to the federal charges June 8 but was arrested June 10 on 10 additional counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.

Those charges came after authorities learned he allegedly swindled a total of more than $689,000 in checks and cash from a Shreveport resident on 222 separate instances between October 2001 and February. Hayes reportedly claimed that fire had destroyed his home and that he needed the money to pay off fraudulent checks written by someone who had stolen his checkbook.

Authorities believe Hayes used the money to buy several vehicles -- including four Chevrolet Avalanches, some of which have ostrich interiors, several DVD screens and chrome wheels -- expensive furniture, electronics, lawn equipment, jewelry and other items that are now set to be sold.

Auctioneer Danny Lawler said he is still working to determine the overall value of the items that will be up for bid.

"We look at the NADA book and try to get the value (of the vehicles), but that won't show the cost of all the stuff he's put on these cars," Lawler said of extras that include navigation systems, remote starters, high-end sound systems and neon lighting under the seats and in air-conditioning vents. "This is the kind of stuff you see on (MTV's) 'Pimp My Ride.'"

While the true value is not yet known, Lawler said the quality of the items is.

"This is one of the higher end (bankruptcy auctions). It's excellent stuff. A lot of it is a year-old or less. And he had good taste, or someone did," Lawler said of some of the furniture, which includes rich poster beds and marble-top tables.

With such high-quality items up for bid, he hopes people will come out to show their support for Hayes' alleged victims.

"We've never done an auction on a case with this much publicity or notoriety. ... We hope people will come and give good money for these items just because of the facts surrounding the case.

"Everybody is watching this," Lawler said.


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