Two Arrested, Another Wanted in Katrina Scam

Two California men have been arrested and a third man is wanted on charges they conspired to steal more than $300,000 in insurance proceeds from victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Louisiana State Police said the three men misrepresented themselves as licensed insurance adjusters and offered to help customers negotiate settlements with their insurance companies. But the suspects allegedly forged signatures on checks meant for their customers and pocketed the money.

Police said 42-year-old Steve Slepcevic, of Palo Verdes, Calif., turned himself in last Thursday at the St. Tammany Parish Jail. He and 50-year-old Matthew Todd, of Chatsworth, Calif., face several theft charges. Todd was arrested in Los Angeles last week.

An arrest warrant also has been issued for a third suspect, 38-year-old Michael Mekeel, of Henderson, Nev.