NEW ORLEANS WOMAN CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING LOUISIANA ROAD HOME PROGRAM
ELIZABETH L. HOLIDAY, age 38, a resident of New Orleans, LA, was charged with theft of government funds in a two-count bill of information relating to fraudulent applications she made to the Louisiana Road Home Program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial assistance during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the bill of information, both the Louisiana Road Home Program and FEMA made disaster assistance money available to those whose primary residence was destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. According to court documents, HOLIDAY applied for and received a Road Home grant of $54,566.88 and a FEMA grant of $21,382.35 for residential property located at 4927 Pecan Street, New Orleans, which she owned, but used as a rental property, at the time Hurricane Katrina struck. It is alleged that HOLIDAY fraudulently represented that she was a resident of the property at the time of the storm.
If convicted of both counts, HOLIDAY faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a fine of up to $250,0000, and a maximum of 3 years of supervised release, as to each count. HOLIDAY would also be required to pay restitution to the Louisiana Road Home Program, and FEMA.
U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted 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