LOCAL MAN CHARGED WITH LOUISIANA ROAD HOME PROGRAM FRAUD
GARRETT GORDON GOODBEE, age 39, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged in a single count bill of information with theft of government funds, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the bill of information, the defendant purchased a vacant lot in New Orleans in October, 2004 for the purpose of constructing a home on it. This home was only partially constructed when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans on August 29, 2005. The defendant falsely and fraudulently filed an application with the Louisiana Road Home Program declaring the partially constructed home was his primary residency on August 29, 2005. As a result of this false statement, he received $104,930 in Road Home assistance to which he was not entitled.
If convicted, GOODBEE faces a maximum sentence of ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, and a three (3) year term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, along with a special assessment fee of $100.
U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that a 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 Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Marvin Opotowsky.
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