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Press Release

East Feliciana Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud

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

NEW ORLEANSCLARENCE “BILLY” BURKETTE, age 55, a resident of Slaughter, La., was sentenced on March 13, 2024 by U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle, to 6 months imprisonment, 2 years of supervised release, a mandatory $100 special assessment fee, and the payment of $598,196.25 in restitution to the victim of this offense, the Town of Pearl River, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.   

According to court documents, BURKETTE had previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and admitted to defrauding the Town of Pearl River in connection with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program (PAC). The PAC provides grants for state, territorial, tribal, and local governments, and certain non-profit organizations. The PAC is administered in Louisiana by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). BURKETTE, who contracted to provide the Town of Pearl River disaster assistance services, misrepresented, among other things, the amount of public assistance grant funds for which the Town of Pearl River was eligible. BURKETTE also misrepresented to the Town of Pearl River that his own fees would be reimbursed by FEMA.    

U.S. Attorney Evans commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, the IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the District Attorney’s Office, 22nd Judicial District, for their handling of the matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andre J. Lagarde of the Public Integrity Unit and J. Benjamin Myers of the Financial Crimes Unit.


Shane M. Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice

Updated March 18, 2024

Financial Fraud