DWAYNE SMITH SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING GULF COAST CLAIMS FACILITY
DWAYNE SMITH, age 41, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier to five years probation with the first six months to be served under home incarceration with electronic monitoring, after pleading guilty to defrauding the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. In addition, SMITH received three years supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $100,000.
According to court documents, SMITH left New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina hit this area. He was a resident and businessman in the State of Georgia from 2005 to 2010. Approximately four months after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, SMITH returned to New Orleans and set up a business known as “D&D Designs.” In October 2010, SMITH submitted a false and fraudulent application to the GCCF stating his business had lost $100,000 in business profits as a result of the disaster. To substantiate his claim, SMITH submitted false and fraudulent tax returns and business documents falsely stating his business had operated in New Orleans at a profit for the years 2007, 2008, 2009, and the first part of 2010. As a result of his false and fraudulent application and documentation, SMITH received an emergency advance payment in the form of a $75,000 check on December 10, 2010 and a final GCCF claim payment of $25,000 on February 3, 2011.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted 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