HAMMOND WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING AMERICAN RED CROSS
LESHEA HANIBLE, age 33, a resident of Hammond, LA, pled guilty in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle to one count of wire fraud relating to fraudulent applications for financial assistance that she submitted to the American Red Cross between September 2005 and October 2005, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, HANIBLE applied for and received disaster assistance funds from the American Red Cross five times. 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. HANIBLE 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, HANIBLE fraudulently obtained $5,960 from the American Red Cross.
Upon sentencing, scheduled for March 2, 2011, HANIBLE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution to the American Red Cross, and three (3) years of supervised release following imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled 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