NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING THE SBA AND LRA PROGRAM
ALBERT MCCARTY, age 41, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier to a two-count Bill of Information for theft of government funds for his role in obtaining $106,000 fraudulently from the Small Business Administration and the Louisiana Road Home Program in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area, the defendant filed an application for SBA disaster loan assistance representing that he owned a property located in the 1800 block of Lamanche Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, and that the property was his primary residence on August 29, 2005. It is alleged that MCCARTY fraudulently represented that he was a full-time resident of the Lamanche Street property, when, in fact, he had been renting that property to another individual and living elsewhere. To receive additional funds, MCCARTY also submitted phony receipts to the SBA for repair work that was never actually performed on the Lamanche Street property. As a result of these representations, MCCARTY received $50,000.00 from the SBA, for which he was not entitled. Additionally, from April 2006, through September 2007, MCCARTY made false representations to the Louisiana Road Home Program, namely that he lived at the Lamanche Street residence at the time of Hurricane Katrina, and fraudulently obtained $56,000 in HUD Community Development Block Grant money.
MCCARTY faces a possible maximum sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three (3) years supervised release following any term of imprisonment as to each count. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 1, 2010.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of the Inspector General and the Small Business Administration - Office of the Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States 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