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Press Release

Covington Woman Pleads Guilty To FEMA Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that KELLY GAUTHIER, age 49, a resident of Covington, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on December 9, 2020 to one count of Theft of Government Funds in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641. According to the Bill of Information to which GAUTHIER pled guilty, she filed an application with the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on or about March 14, 2016, following severe storms and flooding across Louisiana. GAUTHIER claimed that she needed assistance due to her ownership and occupancy of a home where she was living. In order to show her purported ownership of the home, GAUTHIER submitted fraudulent supporting documentation. GAUTHIER was issued a total of $29,075.56 in FEMA assistance, including assistance for home repairs, rental assistance, transportation, and personal property.

GAUTHIER faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 mandatory special assessment. GAUTHIER’s sentencing hearing is scheduled before the Honorable U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on March 10, 2021.

U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, for its work in investigating this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh.


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Updated December 10, 2020

Disaster Fraud