Woman Sentenced In Katrina Fraud
MONTGOMERY, Ala.—Alethia Adrianne Scott of Greenville, Ala., was sentenced on March 1, 2007, to nine months imprisonment for conspiring to steal over $26,000 in funds designated for victims of Hurricane Katrina, U.S. Attorney Leura Canary of the Middle District of Alabama announced today. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In addition to Scott’s prison term, Judge Thompson also ordered her to pay full restitution to FEMA and to serve a period of supervised release following her discharge from prison.
Prior to the sentencing, Scott admitted that she submitted a fraudulent application for benefits to FEMA claiming that she had suffered damage to a trailer she owned as her primary residence in Stockton, Alabama. In fact, Scott did not reside in Stockton, did not own a trailer, and did not suffer the losses claimed. As a result of the false claims, Scott received four checks totaling $26,200.
Scott, who was already on supervised release for another violation in the Southern District of Alabama, will be transferred to that District where a petition to revoke her supervised release is currently pending. She may receive up to two additional years imprisonment on those pending charges.
In September 2005, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created the national Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, detect, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes. The Hurricane Katrina Task Force, chaired by Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Alice S. Fisher, includes members from the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the Postal Inspector’s Office and Executive Office of United States Attorneys, among others.
Pursuant to the Justice Department initiative, a local Katrina Fraud Task Force, consisting of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, was formed in the Middle District of Alabama to pursue and prosecute individuals who engage in fraud associated with the hurricanes. Thus far, the Middle District of Alabama has charged a total of 19 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita fraud-related cases involving 20 different defendants.
This matter was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher A. Snyder.
If anyone has information concerning possible fraud being committed during the post-Katrina recovery effort, please call either the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or the FBI Fraud Hotline at 1-800-225-5324.
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