Skip to comments.Alabama woman faces FEMA fraud charge for $277,377
Posted on 07/28/2006 11:28:06 AM PDT by ncountylee
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A south Alabama woman was indicted Thursday on federal charges of defrauding FEMA out of $277,377 by making false claims for Hurricane Katrina damages, the U.S. attorney said.
Lawanda T. Williams spent FEMA's money on real estate, vehicles, electronics, a mobile home and other property, U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Rhodes said in a statement.
The 32-year-old Jackson woman, also known as Lawanda Johnson, was arrested on July 18 on charges of wire and mail fraud.
In a 66-count grand jury indictment Thursday, additional charges include making false claims to the government and aggravated identity theft.
U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Cassady declined to release Williams on bond. A trial date hasn't been set.
Federal authorities said Williams, claiming Katrina damages in 30 separate cases, used false Social Security numbers and various names and addresses in Gulfport, Pascagoula and Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans, as well as her rural home in Jackson, north of Mobile.
If convicted of mail fraud and wire fraud, Williams could be sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Making false claims to the government could bring five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The identity theft charge carries a mandatory two-year sentence consecutive to any other sentences.
Rhodes said investigations by the Hurricane Katrina Task Force continue to track down those who took advantage of last year's relief efforts.
So far, 11 individuals have been charged in the court's Southern District of Alabama.
Wonder if the $277,377 is the largest suspected Katrina fraud?
I would say the largest Katrina fraud was the MSM.
She should also have to pay all of the costs of the investigation and prosecution.
Call the U.N..
Whoa! Hand the money out like it's nothing and then go back and nail those who got greedy. Interesting system.
And some of them end up in Congress.
You nailed that!
I can't, because they probably won't be there any more. I e-mailed Karl Rove a few minutes ago asking him to rev up his Magic Weather Machine and target the U.N. building while John Bolton is safely in D.C. Everybody hold onto your hats.
Yeah, dat chile is oft da muscle!
"Watch it, sucker!"
Jesse Jackson will step in, there will be no prosecution.
Could you share your recipe for obtaining blood from turnips?
Throw her criminal you-know-what in jail and be done with it. She ain't got no assets other than what she sits on.
Who's gonna purchase a used double-wide for $280,000+?
She goes to Sideshow Bob's hairdresser.
Their second biggest mistake was trusting people who steal, like Lawanda.
South Alabama woman fugitive on $24,645 FEMA fraud charges
7/14/2006, 4:07 p.m. CT
The Associated Press
JACKSON, Ala. (AP) Authorities searched for a Jackson woman on charges of filing at least 30 phony disaster relief claims after Hurricane Katrina, collecting at least one FEMA check for about $24,645, the FBI said Friday.
She claimed to have lived in Biloxi, Miss., when Katrina struck Aug. 29. Based on that claim, she received a Federal Emergency Management Agency check for about $24,645.
Williams fled her home in Jackson on July 6 as federal agents prepared to search it. An FBI statement said Williams ran into the woods, but she's known to have other residences in Clarke County.
The 30 aid applications linked to Williams had different addresses, phone numbers and Social Security numbers, which alerted authorities.
Or Carol Mosely("Well we're movin' on up...")Braun.
I'm sorry, it's Friday and I was indulging in a flight of fancy. I'm back now. Though I'm still confident Karl Rove will heed my e-mail and send a tornado at the U.N. building.
That's it! Thanks, capt. norm! I was trying to figure out who McKinney looked like with that "finger in the light socket hairdo"!!
Williams, 32, of Jackson, Ala., was charged in a 66-count federal indictment with making false claims to the government, mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Williams is charged with making a number of false and fraudulent applications for disaster assistance from FEMA following Hurricane Katrina. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
The indictment alleges that from Sept. 8, 2005 through May 11, 2006, Williams applied by telephone for disaster benefits from FEMA following Hurricane Katrina. Using false Social Security numbers and variations of her name and addresses in Gulfport, Pascagoula and Biloxi, Miss., as well as addresses in Jackson, Ala. and New Orleans, Williams claimed that her primary residence had been damaged. The indictment further alleges that at the time of Hurricane Katrina, Williams lived in Jackson, and not at any of the addresses she claimed as her damaged primary residence.
Williams allegedly received $277,377 from FEMA as a result of the fraudulent claims, which she used to purchase real estate, a mobile home, automobiles, electronics and other personal property. If convicted, the proceeds of the alleged fraud would be subject to forfeiture to the United States.
Williams was arrested on July 18, 2006 on a federal complaint charging her with wire and mail fraud in connection with one of the applications. U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Cassady ordered that she be detained in custody pending trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Costello is prosecuting the case.
Mail fraud and wire fraud each carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Making false claims to the government is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Conviction of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two year sentence consecutive to any other sentence imposed.
Williams is described as a black female, age 32, 510 in height, 126 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. Her last known address is 50 Jackie and Linda Road, Jackson, Alabama. She has also resided at other locations in Clarke County, Alabama.
Lots of them. They always the first to complain that Pres Bush and the government isn't doing enough.
Wonder if that kanye west person would like to pay for her defense?
A south Alabama woman was indicted Thursday on federal charges of defrauding FEMA out of $277,377 by making false claims for Hurricane Katrina damages, the U.S. attorney said. Lawanda T. Williams spent FEMA's money on real estate, vehicles, electronics, a mobile home and other property, U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Rhodes said in a statement.
Carol Mostly Brown.
Let me guess....
With all of that money laying around and the massive opportunities for fraud, I always ask the same question of this and similar situations, "why so little?" This always looked like a million dollar plus cash cow there for most crooks to rob blind.
I bet she'll just write them a check to cover it?
I've got a name for people like her but, I promised my sweet Grandmother I wouldn't use it again. So I'll just think it!
We owe it to her... reparations and all that, you know.
If she had just deleted the "La" from "Lawanda" and went with "Wanda" she might have gotten away with it.
I wonder what Celine would say once she found out they were illegally downloading her music?
.....I wonder what Celine would say once she found out they were illegally downloading her music?.....
They donce likes her music! Too cracker forz em.
She's got to have more money than she'll ever know what to do with to have uttered something so remarkably stupid in the first place. I doubt she's changed her tune, so to speak ...
Didn't she kill a bear with a knife?
If the GOP was smart (they have seldom been accused of this,) they nail the major Katrina thieves with serious jail time, then offer plea bargains to the minor offenders who come forward voluntarily. The plea bargain should include repayment of the fraud amount, a small fine, and a felony conviction on their record.
Of course, we'd also need to be sure that the opportunity to vote is removed with the felony conviction.....
And ably voiced by one of Hollyweird's staunchest conservatives...Kelsey Grammar
LOL. Between this, the Mel Gibon thread and the guy looking for a job, I've been in stitches half of the afternoon.
And dontcha' know he has a blast imitating spoiled liberal elites....and they don't even realize it.
"But Bart, you don't have to be able to read to enjoy the Springfield Literary Review. Why just look at these amusing caricatures of Susan Sontag and Gore Vidal."
It is what made/makes "Frazier" soooooooo hilarious.