West Frankfort Woman Pleads Guilty to Disaster Relief Fraud
April D. Trexler, 32, of West Frankfort, Illinois, pled guilty today in United States District Court in Benton to a one count indictment charging her with fraudulently claiming disaster relief benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced. The indictment, returned by a Federal Grand Jury on June 5, 2012, alleged that in the aftermath of the wide-spread flooding in Southern Illinois in the spring and summer of 2011, Trexler submitted a false application and supporting documents to FEMA claiming that she had been forced to relocate because of the flooding and requesting relocation assistance funds from that agency. Trexler, however, had not been forced to relocate or otherwise affected by the flooding. As a result of her false submissions, Trexler fraudulently received $4597 in relocation assistance payments from FEMA.
Trexler faces up to 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised to follow her incarceration of up to 3 years. Sentencing was set for March 28, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. at the United States District Courthouse in Benton.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of FEMA.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.