NEW ORLEANS WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING LRA PROGRAM AND FEMA
ELIZABETH L. HOLIDAY, age 64, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Lance M. Africk to two counts of theft of government funds relating to fraudulent applications she made to the Louisiana Road Home Program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, both the LRA Program and FEMA made disaster assistance money available to those whose primary residence was destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. HOLIDAY fraudulently represented that she used the property located at 4927 Pecan Street, New Orleans, as her primary residence at the time of the storm. Based on her fraudulent application, HOLIDAY received a Road Home grant of $54,566.88 and a FEMA grant of $21,382.35.
As to each count, HOLIDAY faces a possible maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution to both the LRA Program and FEMA, and three (3) years of supervised release. Sentencing has been scheduled for June 10, 2010.
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 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