ROKEISHA BARRIOS SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING GULF COAST CLAIMS FACILITY
ROKEISHA BARRIOS, age 32, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U. S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance to four years probation for committing wire fraud relating to a fraudulent application she made in her husband’s name to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) for financial assistance during the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $33,907.50 to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust, GCCF.
BARRIOS pled guilty on March 7, 2012, to a one-count bill of information admitting that in October 2010, she electronically submitted an application to the GCCF in the name of her husband, Roberto Barrios, for emergency advance payments for business losses. The information in the application was false and fraudulent as to her husband’s business as a commercial fisherman and as to his employment as a hotel employee before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a result of this false and fraudulent application and documentation, she received, in a joint checking account, $22,600 in emergency advance payments on November 23, 2010. Further, she received a final GCCF claim payment in the amount of $11,307.50 on or about March 21, 2011. The defendant confessed to the crime.
The sentence was a downward departure and variance based upon BARRIOS being a single parent with a special needs child and because she has no criminal history.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Dorothy Manning Taylor.
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