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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 20, 2013

Cairo, Illinois, Man Charged With Disaster Relief Fraud

A federal grand jury in Benton, Illinois, has charged Bernard F. Brown, 48, Cairo, Illinois, with false statements to federal officials and disaster relief fraud offenses, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

The indictment charges Brown with four counts of making false statements and one count of disaster relief fraud during 2011 and 2012. The false statement charges carry a potential sentence of up to five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release. The disaster relief fraud charge carries a potential sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and up to 5 years supervised release.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

Brown’s trial is set for February 21, 2014, at the U.S. District Court in Benton, Illinois.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.

Updated February 19, 2015