Industry News

Two plead guilty to stealing Hurricane Katrina funds

Georgia men face fines and up to 20 years in prison

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Two Georgia men pleaded guilty in federal district court last week to stealing federal emergency aid funds that were intended for Hurricane Katrina victims, officials said. Henry P. Edwards, 41, of Atlanta, and Dwight M. Thomas, 21, of Doraville, each pleaded guilty to counts of mail fraud, and Edwards also pleaded guilty to filing false claims and theft of FEMA funds, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Georgia. "Let these cases be yet another example of our commitment to prosecute those criminals who took advantage of a terrible tragedy to enrich themselves," U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said in a statement. "Our investigation into those who fraudulently obtained Hurricane Katrina funds is continuing." According to Nahmias and information presented in court, on Sept. 3, 2005, Edwards filed a false claim for emergency assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, known as FEMA, and claimed that he was a New Orleans resident who was a victim of Hu...