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MILLETTE WOMACK PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING GULF COAST CLAIMS FACILITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2013

MILLETTE WOMACK, age 38, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval to conspiracy to commit wire fraud relating to a fraudulent application she made to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) for financial assistance in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, announced U. S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.

According to court documents, the GCCF made disaster assistance money available to individuals and businesses affected by the oil spill resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion.  The GCCF required individuals to verify loss of income.  On October 24, 2010, the GCCF received WOMACK’s online claim form seeking an emergency 6-month payment in the amount of $10,000, wherein WOMACK falsely stated she lost earnings as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Documentation in support of WOMACK’s claim included copies of fraudulent earning statements indicating that prior to the oil spill, WOMACK had worked as a line cook at Don’s Seafood Hut Restaurant & Oyster Bar, when, in fact, she was never so employed. As a result of these false representations and documentation contained in the claim, the GCCF paid WOMACK approximately $13,100.00. 

WOMACK faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of $250,000.00 and three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is set for September 18, 2013.

This case was brought as part of this District’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf oil spill.  If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, you can contact the NCDF by either calling the hotline at (866) 720-5721, faxing (225) 334-4707, emailing at disaster@leo.gov or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Loan “Mimi” Nguyen.

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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: disaster@leo.gov

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