NEW ORLEANS MAN SENTENCED FOR MAIL FRAUD AND THEFT OF FEDERAL FUNDS
GEORGE MAGEE, age 53, a resident of New Orleans, LA, was sentenced in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt to serve five (5) years probation, of which fourteen (14) months will be served in home confinement with electronic monitoring, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay $7,736.98 restitution to FEMA and the U.S. Treasury Department, and $10,017 restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to court documents, MAGEE pled guilty on March 12, 2010 to two counts of mail fraud and one count of theft of federal funds relating to fraudulent Federal Emergency management Agency (FEMA) claims. FEMA provided disaster assistance money to those affected by Hurricane Katrina, including rental housing assistance. In addition to making his own claim for FEMA assistance, MAGEE submitted two applications to FEMA using the identities of other individuals. In connection with those applications, he submitted false addresses and false documentation to make it appear that those individuals lived at those false addresses at the time of the storm. As a result of MAGEE’s misrepresentations, two checks were sent by U.S. mail to a mailbox in MAGEE’s apartment complex where he could easily access them. MAGEE forged the signatures of the two individuals and deposited the checks into his own account. In total, MAGEE stole $7,736.98 from FEMA and the U. S. Treasury.
Further, the U. S. Department of Agriculture provides funding to the Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Family Support (DSS) for food stamps and public assistance programs. The DSS administers the payment of food stamps and public assistance to qualified individuals. MAGEE also admitted that he fraudulently applied for food stamps issued by DSS and based upon the fraudulent application, MAGEE stole $10,017 from the federally funded food stamp program.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, and the Louisiana Department of Social Services, Office of Family Support. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman.
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