U.S. Department of Justice
Commerce St., 3rd Fl.
Telephone (214) 659-8600
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
NOVEMBER 6, 2006
RINGLEADER IN FEMA FRAUD SCHEME
Ten Co-Defendants Also Sentenced
A Dallas woman who ran a scheme that defrauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of more than $80,000 was sentenced today in federal court, announced United States Attorney Richard B. Roper. United States District Judge David C. Godbey sentenced Lakietha Diann Hall, 35, of Dallas, to 70 months imprisonment and ordered her to pay $83,254 in restitution. Hall pled guilty in July to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of federal public funds and one count of aggravated identity theft. In a related case, Hall pled guilty to count one of an indictment that charged her with failure to appear
U.S. Attorney Roper said, “I applaud Judge Godbey’s sentence. This severe sentence sends a strong message that fraudsters who steal federal relief funds will be punished severely.” Roper continued, “This office will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law any fraudster who steals federal relief funds for their own benefit. I applaud the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Homeland Security - OIG and the Louisiana Department of Labor for their excellent investigative work in this case.”
Lakietha Diann Hall admitted that from August 2005 through December 21, 2005, she conspired with co-defendants, many of whom are related, Carolyn Lynn Evans, Carl Lynn Green, Glen Alfred Jones, Emma Theresa Hall, Milton Evans, Reginald Derrell Hall, Gracie Mae Green, Timmy Green, Carey Cornelius Johnson and Linda C. Green to commit the crime of theft of public money. They submitted fraudulent claims for disaster assistance and disaster unemployment assistance, falsely representing that their primary residences were located in declared disaster areas and had been damaged by Hurricane Katrina and/or that they became unemployed because of Hurricane Katrina. Lakietha Hall submitted numerous fraudulent on-line applications to FEMA for disaster assistance on behalf of and with the knowledge of many of her co-defendants. All of Lakietha Diann Hall’s co-defendants pled guilty to their roles in the scheme and have been sentenced.
In one instance, on September 14, 2005, Lakietha Hall submitted a fraudulent on-line application to FEMA for disaster assistance under Emma Ruth Hall’s name and social security number, falsely representing that Emma Ruth Hall’s primary residence was in Slidell, Louisiana and that it had been damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Emma Ruth Hall didn’t authorized Lakietha Hall to use Emma Hall’s identification, and Hall provided FEMA her own mailing address on
In another instance, in November 2005, Lakietha Hall submitted a fraudulent on-line application to the Louisiana Department of Labor (LDOL) for Hurricane Katrina disaster unemployment assistance in the name of “E Hall,” using Emma Ruth Hall’s social security number. In the application, Lakietha Hall falsely represented that “E Hall” became unemployed from Eastgate Church as a result of the hurricane. Lakietha Hall, knowing that she did not have authority to use Emma Ruth Hall’s means of identification, provided LDOL with her own mailing address on Jadewood Drive in Dallas to receive the disaster assistance funds. LDOL issued a Chase debit card in the name of “E Hall” and Lakietha Hall gave this debit card to her mother, co-defendant Emma Theresa Hall. Disaster assistance funds were withdrawn from this debit card and used for the defendants’ own personal benefit.
Hall’s co-defendants received sentences ranging from two years probation to 12 months imprisonment based on their relative culpability in the scheme and their prior criminal records, if any. All defendants were ordered to pay restitution.
Regarding Lakietha Hall’s failure to appear conviction, on December 21, 2006, a Special Agent with the Department of Labor - Office of Inspector General arrested Lakietha Hall on a criminal complaint charging her with theft of federal public funds. She appeared before a United States Magistrate Judge who released her on her own recognizance. Lakietha Hall was subsequently charged in a criminal indictment and ordered to appear on January 30, 2006 for arraignment on those charges. She purposely failed to appear for this arraignment and an arrest warrant was issued. She was arrested on March 9, 2006, following a tip from a concerned citizen to the U.S. Postal Inspection service.
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 Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the 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.