NEDRA BELL CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING LOUISIANA ROAD HOME PROGRAM AND MAKING FALSE STATEMENTS TO AN AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES
NEDRA BELL, age 40, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, was charged in a two-count bill of information filed yesterday for theft of government funds and making false statements to an agency of the United States, announced U. S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.
According to the Bill of Information, BELL applied for a Louisiana Road Home grant for property she was renting from her brother at the time of Hurricane Katrina. BELL applied for the grant on behalf of her brother, falsely stating that he was residing in the property at the time of Hurricane Katrina. As a result of her false statements in her application, BELL fraudulently received approximately $54,372 from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), an agency and department of the United States.
BELL is also charged with one count of making false statements to a federal agency on a re-certification application and HUD Income Questionnaire to the Housing Authority of New Orleans (“HANO”) for HUD rental subsidized housing under its Section 8 program. BELL denied that she received self-employment income or owned property, when in truth and in fact, she received income from her business as a hair stylist and owned property.
If convicted, BELL faces a maximum term of imprisonment of fifteen years, a $250,000 fine, restitution to the HUD, three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $200 special assessment.
U. S. Attorney Boente reiterated that the Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The case is being 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