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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Gretna Woman Charged with Theft of Government Funds

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that THERA ELLISON, age 58, a resident of Gretna, was charged today with theft of government funds.

According to the Indictment, ELLISON received Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance in order to replace a Hurricane Katrina-damaged school building. It is alleged that ELLISON spent some of the funds on improper purposes, including her own personal benefit, even though she had represented that the funds would be used to pay specific expenses related to the replacement of the building.

If convicted, ELLISON faces up to ten years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000.  U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that an indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General in investigating this matter and thanked the Office of Louisiana Legislative Auditor for its assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chandra Menon is in charge of this prosecution.

Updated September 2, 2015