PONCHATOULA WOMAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING AMERICAN RED CROSS
RENA MARIE BROWN, age 44, a resident of Ponchatoula, LA, was sentenced in federal court yesterday by U. S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon to three (3) years probation relating to fraudulent applications for financial assistance that she submitted to the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition, BROWN has been ordered to maintain full time employment and pay $5,660 in restitution to the Red Cross.
According to court documents, BROWN previously pled guilty admitted that she applied for and received disaster assistance funds from the American Red Cross on five occasions. The Red Cross made disaster assistance money of up to $1,565 available to those affected by the hurricanes of 2005 on a one-time only basis. BROWN repeatedly applied for these funds throughout the early fall of 2005, indicating that she had not yet received any money at all from the Red Cross. In all, BROWN fraudulently obtained $5,660 from the American Red Cross.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Julia K. Evans.
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