PONCHATOULA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO LOUISIANA ROAD HOME FRAUD
WILLIAM C. TURNAGE, Jr., age 60, a resident of Ponchatoula, Louisiana pled guilty yesterday in a federal court to material false statements to the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the factual basis, on approximately March 7, 2007, TURNAGE applied for a grant from the Louisiana Road Home Program claiming 34 Keane Drive, Chalmette, Louisiana as his primary residence at the time of Hurricane Katrina. As a result of the fraudulent application, TURNAGE received a road home grant totaling $89,355.46. TURNAGE actually resided in Ponchatoula, Louisiana at the time of Hurricane Katrina, and was ineligible for the grant. Through his plea agreement, TURNAGE agreed to pay $89,355.46 in restitution, as well as $12,500 he received from FEMA assistance.
TURNAGE faces a possible maximum sentence of five (5)years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine, and a three (3) year term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 15, 2010.
The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Irene González.
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