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FEMA Fraud - taylor sentencing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2010

SENTENCING IN BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, ON DISASTER RELIEF FRAUD CHARGE

BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney David R. Dugas announced that another Louisiana resident was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Frank J. Polozola this week on a fraud charge related to a hurricane disaster relief program.

CHERYL M. TAYLOR, age 49, of Greensburg, Louisiana, pled guilty on July 9, 2009, to a bill of information charging her with forgery against the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 495. According to the stipulated factual basis in the plea agreement, TAYLOR altered the face of a U.S. Treasury check that had been made out to her for disaster relief benefits in the amount of $1,425 so that it appeared to be payable in the amount of $11,425. TAYLOR knew that she was only entitled to $1,425. It was further stipulated that TAYLOR took the check to her bank and caused it to be deposited into her personal account, which was credited with a deposit of $11,425. TAYLOR was sentenced this week to a term of imprisonment of two months followed by three years of supervised release. TAYLOR was also ordered to pay $5,293.99 in restitution to the Bank of Greensburg.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation of this case.

The number of individuals who have been charged in the Middle District of Louisiana with violations related to hurricane disaster relief funds stands at one hundred seventy-five.

In September 2005, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud and insurance fraud. The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force – chaired by the Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division – includes the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Executive Office for United States Attorneys and others.

For further information, contact David R. Dugas, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, or Lyman Thornton, First Assistant U.S. Attorney, at (225) 389-0443. Anyone suspecting criminal activity involving disaster assistance programs can make an anonymous report by calling the toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline, 1-866-720-5721, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until further notice. Information can also be emailed to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at disaster@leo.gov or sent by surface mail, with as many details as possible, to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.

 

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If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721 or e-mail at: disaster@leo.gov


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