Wasilla woman indicted for Federal Grant Fraud
Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin R. Feldis announced today that a Wasilla woman was indicted by a federal grand jury in Anchorage for presenting false claims for federal grant funds to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Crystal Jean Boze, aka “Crystal Jean Hazlitt,” 33, of Wasilla, Alaska, is the sole defendant named in the one-count indictment.
According to the indictment, Boze illegally presented three false claims for federal grant funds to two agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Boze’s company, Green Winter Farms LLC (a farming company located in Palmer, Alaska), was awarded a $72,103 grant by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2012, and a $49,689 grant by USDA Rural Development in 2013. Among other things, the grants required Boze’s company to seek payment of USDA grant funds on a reimbursement basis only and to certify that each claim for reimbursement was accurate.
The indictment charges that three times between Feb. 1, 2013, and June 9, 2013, Boze, acting on behalf of her company, knowingly made and presented false and fraudulent claims to USDA seeking payment of USDA grant funds. Boze also knowingly presented false and fraudulent purchase invoices supporting documentation for each claim.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Hattan, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, for the charged offense. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General (USDA OIG) conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.