Former Gulfport resident pleads guilty to Katrina fraud - - The News for South Mississippi

Former Gulfport resident pleads guilty to Katrina fraud


GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A man who used to live in Gulfport was back in town Monday to plead guilty to charges of Katrina related fraud.

Paul Allen, 56, now lives in the San Antonio, Texas area. Allen was in federal court in Gulfport Monday to change his plea to guilty for stealing $26,775.86 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) related to his claim for Hurricane Katrina benefits.

According to U.S. Attorney Donald R. Burkhalter, Allen admitted that after filing an application with FEMA for assistance on one false address, he changed his application to reflect a second false address. In support of this change, he and his wife submitted multiple false statements and false documents, purportedly to support the claim.

Officials said on one occasion, he submitted a valid deed, intentionally omitting any reference to the fact that he sold and relocated from the property months prior to Hurricane Katrina.

As a result of these false documents and statements, investigators said Allen and his wife defrauded FEMA out of more than $26,000 in funds and benefits.

Allen further admitted that he made similar claims to receive money from Red Cross.

Paul Allen faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. He is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. Senior District Judge Walter J. Gex on July 13, 2010.

Also on Monday, Allen's wife pled guilty to making false statements to FEMA.

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