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Alabama woman faces FEMA fraud charge for $277,377
AP/City Business ^ | 2006-07-27

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.•


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; US: Alabama; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: black; corruption; govwatch; katrina; lawanda; negress

1 posted on 07/28/2006 11:28:07 AM PDT by ncountylee
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To: ncountylee

Wonder if the $277,377 is the largest suspected Katrina fraud?


2 posted on 07/28/2006 11:28:33 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: ncountylee

I would say the largest Katrina fraud was the MSM.


3 posted on 07/28/2006 11:29:17 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: ncountylee

She should also have to pay all of the costs of the investigation and prosecution.


4 posted on 07/28/2006 11:29:31 AM PDT by American Quilter (You can't negotiate with people who are dedicated to your destruction.)
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To: American Quilter

Call the U.N..


5 posted on 07/28/2006 11:31:41 AM PDT by massgopguy (massgopguy)
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To: ncountylee

Whoa! Hand the money out like it's nothing and then go back and nail those who got greedy. Interesting system.


6 posted on 07/28/2006 11:31:54 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: ncountylee
There are always Lawandas out there to steal from taxpayers.
7 posted on 07/28/2006 11:32:05 AM PDT by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: ncountylee

Lawanda


8 posted on 07/28/2006 11:32:34 AM PDT by steveo (Fathers Against Rude Television: You may already be a member)
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia

And some of them end up in Congress.


9 posted on 07/28/2006 11:32:56 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: 1rudeboy
I would say the largest Katrina fraud was the MSM.

You nailed that!

10 posted on 07/28/2006 11:33:15 AM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: massgopguy
Call the U.N..

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.

11 posted on 07/28/2006 11:35:05 AM PDT by American Quilter (You can't negotiate with people who are dedicated to your destruction.)
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To: steveo

Yeah, dat chile is oft da muscle!


12 posted on 07/28/2006 11:35:20 AM PDT by RexBeach
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia

"Watch it, sucker!"

13 posted on 07/28/2006 11:35:38 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: steveo

Jesse Jackson will step in, there will be no prosecution.


14 posted on 07/28/2006 11:35:41 AM PDT by kjo
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To: ncountylee
I'm sure she'll use the reparations defense.
15 posted on 07/28/2006 11:36:08 AM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: American Quilter

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+?


16 posted on 07/28/2006 11:38:10 AM PDT by bigfootbob
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To: dfwgator
Some of threm do end up in Congress....like "Sideshow McKinney"

She goes to Sideshow Bob's hairdresser.


17 posted on 07/28/2006 11:38:18 AM PDT by capt. norm (Bumper Sticker: Honk if you've never seen an Uzi shoot from a car window.)
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To: ncountylee
A lot of the fraud was also made easy by the gov't willingness to throw money around faster then a democrat losing an election. Specifically: Cash cards should have had limitations on amount, frequency of use and places where they could be used. All of that is easily avilable technology that was not implemented.

Their second biggest mistake was trusting people who steal, like Lawanda.

18 posted on 07/28/2006 11:39:20 AM PDT by Michael.SF. (The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples money -- M. Thatcher)
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To: ncountylee

Louisiana News

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.


snip


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.


19 posted on 07/28/2006 11:39:21 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: capt. norm

Or Carol Mosely("Well we're movin' on up...")Braun.


20 posted on 07/28/2006 11:39:31 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: bigfootbob
Could you share your recipe for obtaining blood from turnips?

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.

21 posted on 07/28/2006 11:41:09 AM PDT by American Quilter (You can't negotiate with people who are dedicated to your destruction.)
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To: capt. norm

That's it! Thanks, capt. norm! I was trying to figure out who McKinney looked like with that "finger in the light socket hairdo"!!


22 posted on 07/28/2006 11:42:15 AM PDT by Polyxene (For where God built a church, there the Devil would also build a chapel - Martin Luther)
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To: ncountylee

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, 5’10 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.


23 posted on 07/28/2006 11:44:45 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: ncountylee

24 posted on 07/28/2006 11:45:33 AM PDT by kcvl
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To: steveo
lafawnda and I are online for like 6 hours a day so I guess it's getting pretty serious
25 posted on 07/28/2006 11:45:55 AM PDT by edzo4
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia
There are always Lawandas out there to steal from taxpayers.

Lots of them. They always the first to complain that Pres Bush and the government isn't doing enough.

26 posted on 07/28/2006 11:48:07 AM PDT by oyez (The way to punish a providence is to allow it to be governed by philosophers. --Frederick the Great)
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To: American Quilter

He'd better.


27 posted on 07/28/2006 12:00:19 PM PDT by bigfootbob
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To: ncountylee

Wonder if that kanye west person would like to pay for her defense?


28 posted on 07/28/2006 12:01:26 PM PDT by Not now, Not ever! (This tag-line is temporarily closed for remodeling)
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To: ncountylee
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.



"Let them touch these things!"

29 posted on 07/28/2006 12:06:32 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: dfwgator

Carol Mostly Brown.


30 posted on 07/28/2006 12:14:01 PM PDT by RexBeach
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To: ncountylee
"Lawanda"--Now that is a WASPY name. LMAO
31 posted on 07/28/2006 12:17:14 PM PDT by xpertskir (McCain Lieberman '08(democratic ticket))
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To: steveo

Lawanda? Lawanda?

Let me guess....


32 posted on 07/28/2006 12:18:35 PM PDT by PeteB570 (Weapons are not toys to play with, they are tools to be used.)
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To: edzo4

ROFLMAO


33 posted on 07/28/2006 12:23:21 PM PDT by Kenton
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To: ncountylee

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.


34 posted on 07/28/2006 12:28:07 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: American Quilter

I bet she'll just write them a check to cover it?


35 posted on 07/28/2006 12:37:13 PM PDT by showme_the_Glory (No more rhyming, and I mean it! ..Anybody want a peanut.....)
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To: ncountylee

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!


36 posted on 07/28/2006 12:42:34 PM PDT by wolfcreek (You can spit in our tacos and you can rape our dogs but, you can't take away our freedom!)
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To: ncountylee

We owe it to her... reparations and all that, you know.


37 posted on 07/28/2006 12:43:00 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: Teacher317

If she had just deleted the "La" from "Lawanda" and went with "Wanda" she might have gotten away with it.


38 posted on 07/28/2006 12:46:44 PM PDT by ohioarmedneutrality
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To: eastsider

I wonder what Celine would say once she found out they were illegally downloading her music?


39 posted on 07/28/2006 1:17:20 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

.....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.


40 posted on 07/28/2006 1:25:21 PM PDT by billygoatgruff
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To: dfwgator

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 ...


41 posted on 07/28/2006 1:27:50 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: steveo
Lawanda

Didn't she kill a bear with a knife?

42 posted on 07/28/2006 1:42:16 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Right Wing Assault
Whoa! Hand the money out like it's nothing and then go back and nail those who got greedy. Interesting system.

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.....

43 posted on 07/28/2006 1:42:43 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (* Sarcasm tag ALWAYS required. For some Freepers, sarcasm can NEVER be obvious enough.)
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To: Polyxene; capt. norm

And ably voiced by one of Hollyweird's staunchest conservatives...Kelsey Grammar


44 posted on 07/28/2006 2:13:14 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Scatology is Serendipitous)
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To: dfwgator

LOL. Between this, the Mel Gibon thread and the guy looking for a job, I've been in stitches half of the afternoon.


45 posted on 07/28/2006 2:15:58 PM PDT by freeperfromnj
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel
And ably voiced by one of Hollyweird's staunchest conservatives...Kelsey Grammar

And dontcha' know he has a blast imitating spoiled liberal elites....and they don't even realize it.

46 posted on 07/28/2006 2:17:44 PM PDT by capt. norm (Bumper Sticker: Honk if you've never seen an Uzi shoot from a car window.)
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To: ncountylee
is there a Top Ten Katrina con-artists?
Bakersfield FEMA office must be high on the list...I know there is the beerman
47 posted on 07/28/2006 2:18:11 PM PDT by Republicus2001
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To: capt. norm

"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."


48 posted on 07/28/2006 2:21:36 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: capt. norm

It is what made/makes "Frazier" soooooooo hilarious.


49 posted on 07/28/2006 2:46:24 PM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Scatology is Serendipitous)
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