Gonzales Woman Sentenced to Federal Prison for Theft of Government Funds
BATON ROUGE, LA – United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles sentenced KRISTIAN H. JAMES, age 31, of Gonzales, Louisiana, to 24 months in federal prison following her conviction for theft of government funds. The Court also sentenced JAMES to 2 years of supervised release following imprisonment and ordered restitution of $141,458.
Between October 2010 and December 2014, JAMES knowingly allowed her social security number to be used in a large scheme to fraudulently obtain financial aid from the United States Department of Education. During this period, JAMES also stole personal information of unknowing victims whose information was then used by co-conspirators as part of the aforementioned fraud scheme. In announcing the sentence, Judge deGravelles highlighted the impact that JAMES’ conduct had on the identity theft victims, and, in particular, one who detailed for the Court the numerous problems she has encountered and continues to encounter as a result of JAMES stealing her identity.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “This conviction and sentence highlight that prosecuting fraudsters and identity thieves will remain a priority of this office. The cowardly act of using personal identifying information of unassuming victims will not go unchecked on our watch. I'm grateful for the hard work of our prosecutors and the investigative work and support provided by the US Department of Education - OIG whose efforts were essential in obtaining justice in this case."
This matter is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the U.S. Department of Education – OIG. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Pugliese.