WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MAIL FRAUD
SHARI WHEELER, age 33 a resident of Tickfaw Louisiana, pled guilty today in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt to a one-count bill of information charging her with mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the factual basis, 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. WHEELER admitted today that she applied for American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Aid a total of thirteen times. As a result of her fraudulent applications, she received $10,995.00 to which she was not entitled.
WHEELER faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a $250,000 fine, and possible restitution to the American Red Cross. Sentencing has been scheduled for September 22, 2010.
The case was investigated by agents of the U. S. Postal Inspection 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