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Federal Criminal Defense Blog Federal Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation in Georgia and Beyond

Norcross Residents Plead Guilty to Defrauding FEMA of Hurricane Ike Relief Funds

Posted in False Claims, Fraud

All the way from Imperial Valley News comes news that John A. Wheeler and Melody Lockett Carter pled guilty on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to one count of theft of government money for fraudulently obtaining FEMA assistance funds intended for victims of Hurricane Ike. Wheeler and Carter, both of Wilmerding, Pennsylvania, were charged with conspiring with Angela Pratt Avery, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, to file three false claims in September 2008 and January 2009, with FEMA for Hurricane Ike relief funds. The defendants claimed that a property  at an address in Galveston, Texas, had been damaged in the hurricane, along with their personal property. In reality, all of the defendants resided in Norcross, Georgia, at the time the hurricane hit. Wheeler, Carter, and Avery obtained over $50,000 in FEMA funds as a result of the false claims.

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