Maurice Gunn Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on April 15, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, MAURICE GUNN, a 38-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. GUNN was sentenced to a term of:
- Probation: 2 years
- Special Assessment: $100
- Restitution: $1,352
GUNN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to making false claims.
In an Offer of Proof filed by the United States, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In the summer of 2005, GUNN was an employee of Rimrock Auto Group in Billings. Rimrock sent a number of employees, not including GUNN, to their sister dealership located at 2226 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, in an effort to aid the financially failing business. GUNN never traveled to the dealership or to Louisiana at all.
On October 8, 2005, GUNN telephoned the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hotline and submitted a FEMA form 90-69, an application for emergency funds, claiming he was a displaced person as a result of Hurricane Katrina. GUNN provided the following information to FEMA:
The Canal Street dealership was his residential address;
The Canal Street dealership was his primary residence;
The Canal Street dealership was an apartment;
His apartment was damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina;
He or his family members had lost work as a result of the disaster;
He had disaster related moving and storage expenses; and
He was self-employed.
All of GUNN'S statements were false.
On January 4, 2006, as a result of GUNN'S fraudulent FEMA application, a Treasury check was issued to GUNN for $1,352.00. The check was mailed to his primary residence in Billings.
When interviewed by law enforcement, GUNN admitted that the information he had used was fraudulent and that he had spent no time in New Orleans.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that GUNN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, GUNN does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security - Office of the Inspector General.