LOCAL WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PASSPORT FRAUD, DEFRAUDING LOUISIANA ROAD HOME AND SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
RUTH LESLIE GOODMAN, 49, a/k/a Ruth Goodman, a/k/a Meagan McKinney, a resident of New Orleans, pled guilty today to four counts of a six count superseding indictment before U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan. In particular, GOODMAN pled guilty to theft of government funds, mail fraud, false statements to FEMA and possession of a falsely obtained Canadian passport, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the court documents and the plea agreement, between August 2005 and September 2007, the defendant created and executed a scheme to defraud the Louisiana Road Home, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration of over $439,000.00 in United States government funds. In addition, the defendant obtained and possessed an official Canadian passport under the false pretense that she was born in Canada when in fact she was born in the United States.
Sentencing for GOODMAN is scheduled for February 16, 2011 at 9 a.m. GOODMAN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 45 years: Passport fraud, (10 years); False statements to FEMA (5 years); Mail Fraud (20 years); Theft of Government Funds (10 years); a maximum fine of $250,000.00 per count, three (3) years of supervised release for Counts 1, 5 and 6 and one (1) year of supervised release for Count 3 and $500.00 in special assessment fees.
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of Inspector General, the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service and the United States Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector Genera and the U. S. Small Business Administration - Office of Inspector General The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys W. Scott Laragy and Marvin Opotowsky.
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