ATLANTA WOMAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING AMERICAN RED CROSS
STACIE L. WHEATEN, age 39, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance to four (4) months home confinement for three counts of mail fraud relating to fraudulent applications for financial assistance that she submitted to the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition, STACIE L. WHEATEN has been ordered to pay $13,185 in restitution to the Red Cross as well as serve three (3) years of supervised release during which time she will be under federal supervision and risks addition imprisonment should she violate any terms of the supervised release..
According to court documents, the Red Cross made disaster assistance money of up to $1,565 available to those affected by the hurricanes of 2005 on a one-time only basis. On December 2, 2009, WHEATEN admitted that she applied for and received disaster assistance funds from the American Red Cross seventeen times throughout the early fall of 2005, fraudulently indicating that she had not yet received any money from Red Cross. In all, WHEATEN fraudulently obtained $13,185 from the American Red Cross.
The case was investigated by the U. S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was 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