United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2007 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 839-2538
CELL: (409) 553-9881
TEXARKANA MAN SENTENCED FOR HURRICANE RELATED FRAUD
Man Fraudulently Filed Claims for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma
TEXARKANA TX – United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced that a 36-year-old Texarkana, Texas man has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for hurricane related fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
GARY WILLIAMS TRICE was sentenced today for three counts of mail fraud. Trice was also ordered by United States District Judge David Folsom to pay a $36,340.50 in restitution for hurricane assistance he fraudulently received for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005.
According to prosecutors, Trice filed three claims with the Federal Emergency Management Agency requesting emergency assistance for damages he claimed to have received from the 2005 hurricanes. An investigation revealed that Trice was not a victim of the hurricanes and was therefore not entitled to FEMA assistance.
In September 2005, the Department of Justice 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 Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division – includes members of the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, among others.
This case was investigated by the United States Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, United States Postal Service, and Department of Homeland Security and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Denise Simpson.
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