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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Harvey Woman Pleads Guilty to Disaster Fraud and Theft

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that JENNIFER WILLIAMS, 33, of Harvey, pled guilty today to a two-count Indictment charging her with one count of disaster fraud and five counts of theft from the United States.

According to court records, WILLIAMS filed an application with the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on or about October 15, 2012, following Hurricane Isaac. WILLIAMS claimed that she needed rental assistance due to damage in her home and made false statements to FEMA with regard to where she was temporarily living. After receiving a total of $17,040 in rental assistance, Department of Homeland Security investigators determined that WILLIAMS in fact never rented another property after Hurricane Isaac and that her application and supporting documentation was false.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown set sentencing on November 5, 2015. WILIAMS faces a possible maximum sentence of thirty years, to be followed by up to five years of supervised release as to the disaster fraud count and/or a fine of $250,000.  WILLIAMS is facing up to ten years imprisonment, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release as to each of the theft of government funds counts and/or a fine of $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney Edward J. Rivera of the Fraud Unit is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated September 1, 2015