MISSISSIPPI MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING LOUISIANA ROAD HOME PROGRAM
JOHN P. PETERS, age 45, a resident of Moss Point, Mississippi, pled guilty in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. to two counts of theft of government funds relating to fraudulent business and home loan applications he made to the U.S. Small Business Administration for financial assistance during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, the U.S. Small Business Administration made low interest disaster assistance loans for personal property, real estate, business, and economic losses to those affected by the hurricanes of 2005. PETERS admitted that between March, 2006 and February, 2008, he intentionally applied for business and home loans in order to receive funds to which he knew he was not entitled. In all, PETERS fraudulently received a total of $138,400 in business and home loan disbursement payments from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The defendant faces a possible maximum sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three (3) years of supervised release and restitution to the SBA. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 28, 2010.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General, Southern Regional Office. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman.
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