LAPLACE WOMAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING AMERICAN RED CROSS
ALETA M. JONES, age 37, a resident of La Place, Louisiana, was sentenced in federal court today by U. S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan to five (5) years probation for one count of wire fraud, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition, JONES was ordered to spend the first four (4) months in home detention and to pay restitution in the amount of $10,955.00 to the American Red Cross.
According to court documents, the Red Cross made disaster assistance money of up to $1565 available to those affected by the hurricanes of 2005 on a one-time only basis. JONES previously pled guilty admitting that she applied for and received disaster assistance funds from the Red Cross up to eight times between September 12, 2005, and October 3, 2005. JONES repeatedly applied for these funds throughout the early fall of 2005, each time indicating that she had not yet received any money at all from the Red Cross. In all, JONES fraudulently obtained $10,955.00 from the American Red Cross.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. 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