Guilty Plea

Mike Lawrence/ /

The former lead fundraiser of a Louisiana hospital foundation has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $550,000 for his personal use.

News outlets report 49-year-old John Paul Funes entered guilty pleas Thursday on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors say the fired president and CEO of Our Lady of the Lakes Foundation falsified records in order to use the charity's money for gift cards and to send family and friends to LSU and New Orleans Saints football games.

Dinesh Parate/ /

 A California veterinarian has pleaded guilty for his part in what federal prosecutors say was a plan to illegally export exotic birds from New Orleans to Taiwan.

Federal court documents show that Alex Madriaga of Buena Park pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single count. He was one of four indicted last year and the second to plead guilty. Prosecutors said the plan involved shipping birds protected under an international treaty governing trade in endangered species.