Conviction of ex-Lumberton police chief confirmed on appeal - - The News for South Mississippi

Conviction of ex-Lumberton police chief confirmed on appeal

By WLOX Staff

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The Katrina fraud conviction and sentence of Maurice Hammond, the former Chief of Police in Lumberton, was affirmed by the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal followed a week long trial in which Hammond was convicted by a jury for making false claims to FEMA, false statements to FEMA and the Small Business Administration, and wire fraud in applying for and receiving Hurricane Katrina disaster assistance funds.

At the time of Hurricane Katrina, Maurice Hammond was a police officer with the City of Poplarville. He was the Chief of Police of Lumberton at the time of his indictment in November, 2008. The proof presented to the jury revealed Hammond received over $19,000 plus a FEMA travel trailer by claiming he was living in a house he had purchased in Poplarville, but to which he had no water or electric service.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. At the sentencing hearing on August 13, 2009, Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. stated that Hammond had violated the trust of both the public he was to serve and the law enforcement community.

He sentenced Hammond to 30 months in prison and ordered him to make restitution to FEMA of $29,438, which included the cost to set up and maintain the FEMA travel trailer he wrongfully received. Hammond was ordered to serve 3 years of supervised release after his prison term.

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