LAPLACE WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING AMERICAN RED CROSS
ALETA M. JONES, age 36, a resident of La Place, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today before United States District Judge Eldon E. Fallon to one count of wire fraud relating to a series of fraudulent applications for financial assistance that she submitted to the American Red Cross, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, the Red Cross made disaster assistance money of up to $1565 available to those affected by the hurricanes of 2005 on a one-time only basis. ALETA JONES admitted that she applied for and received disaster assistance funds from the Red Cross up to 8 times between September 12, 2005, and October 3, 2005. JONES repeatedly applied for these funds throughout the early fall of 2005, each time indicating that she had not yet received any money at all from the Red Cross. In all, JONES fraudulently obtained $10,955.00 from the American Red Cross.
JONES faces a possible maximum sentence of twenty (20) years in prison, a subsequent period of supervised release up to three (3) years, a fine of up to $250,000, and possible restitution to the American Red Cross. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 12, 2010.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Jordan Ginsberg.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org