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Press Release

East Feliciana Parish Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

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

NEW ORLEANSCLARENCE “BILLY” BURKETTE, age 55, a resident of Slaughter, Louisiana, pleaded guilty on November 9, 2023, to wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

According to his guilty plea, BURKETTE admitted to defrauding the Town of Pearl River in connection with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Public Assistance Program. This program provides grants for state, territorial, tribal, and local governments, and certain types of non-profits, and is administered by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP). BURKETTE, who contracted to provide disaster assistance services to the Town of Pearl River, misrepresented, among other things, the amount of public assistance grant funds available to the Town of Pearl River. BURKETTE further misrepresented that his own fees would be reimbursed by FEMA. The Town of Pearl River paid BURKETTE $185,200 for services related to the Disaster Assistance Agreement that he falsely claimed to have provided.

BURKETTE faces a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison. After imprisonment, he faces up to five years of supervised release, up to a $1,000,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee. Pursuant to the plea agreement, BURKETTE will also owe the Town of Pearl $598,196.25 in restitution. 

U.S. Attorney Evans commended the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, 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 Narcotics Unit.


Shane M. Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice

Updated November 30, 2023

Financial Fraud