JEFFERSON PARISH WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING THE LOUISIANA ROAD HOME PROGRAM
CECILE PAYNE, age 65, a resident of Jefferson Parish, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle, to a Bill of Information charging her with for theft of government funds, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the factual basis, prior to and during the time of Hurricane Katrina, PAYNE resided in her primary residence in Harvey, Louisiana. In 2005, PAYNE applied for funds from the Louisiana Road Home Program, claiming that a rental property that she owned, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, was her primary residence at the time of the storm. As a result of her application, PAYNE received approximately $102,718.00 in Louisiana Road Home Program funds to which she was not entitled.
PAYNE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a fine of $250,000.00 and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been set for September 14, 2011.
The case was investigated by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Spiro G. Latsis.
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