Conroe Man Charged With Disaster Fraud
|May 7, 2012|
HOUSTON – James Warren Dinkins, 64, of Conroe, Texas, has been indicted for conspiring to obtain approximately $120,000 in disaster relief funds by fraudulent means and for making false statements in connection with a benefit authorized pursuant to a presidentially declared disaster declaration, United States Attorney Magidson announced today along with Scott Dennis, special agent in charge of the Small Business Administration - Office of the Inspector General (SBA-OIG) and Ronald Moore, special agent in charge of the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG).
“The SBA Disaster Loan Program stems from the American public’s concern for and generosity toward people who have experienced tragic loss of a home or business as a result of a natural disaster,” said Dennis. “Fraud in this program is reprehensible and an affront to the kindness of a giving public. The SBA-OIG Investigations Division will continue to be ever vigilant when investigating allegations of loan fraud such as this.”
The five-count indictment was returned by a Houston grand jury on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Dinkins was taken into federal custody following his arrest today.
According to allegations in the indictment, Dinkins filed applications for disaster benefits with both the SBA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. In both applications, Dinkins misrepresented that his primary residence was in Galveston County, Texas.
Disaster fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000, upon conviction.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by special agents of the SBA-OIG and DHS-OIG. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Andino Reynal is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.