SLIDELL WOMAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING AMERICAN RED CROSS
LINDA PICHON, age 55, a resident of Slidell, LA, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to seven (7) months incarceration, three (3) years probation and to make full restitution to the American Red Cross in the amount of $17,250.00. In April of 2010, PICHON admitted that she filed a series of fraudulent applications for financial assistance with the American Red Cross between September 9, 2005 and October 6, 2005, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. The financial assistance was made available to residents of Southeastern Louisiana who had been affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
According to court documents, PICHON, applied for and received disaster assistance funds from the Red Cross twelve (12) times during a roughly four week period. 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. PICHON 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, PICHON fraudulently obtained $17,250.00 from the American Red Cross.
PICHON faced a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and was subject to a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspectors, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Dan Friel.
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