HOUSTON WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO THEFT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS RELATED TO HURRICANE KATRINA
ELAINE L. MULLONE, age 64, of Houston, Texas, pled guilty in federal court yesterday before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier to three counts of theft of government funds, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to court documents, MULLONE, whose primary residence was in Houston, Texas, at the time Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, falsely represented that her property in Madisonville, Louisiana, was her primary residence when she applied for grants and benefits from FEMA, the SBA, and the Louisiana Road Home Program. MULLONE received approximately $364,330 in government benefits from these programs to which she was not entitled.
MULLONE faces a possible maximum sentence of ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000.00, three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment as to each count, as well as the forfeiture of her Madisonville, Louisiana property. Sentencing is set for April 21, 2011.
The case was investigated by agents from the Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of the Inspector General, the Small Business Administration - Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Homeland Security - Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Loan “Mimi” Nguyen.
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