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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Former Police Chief and Friends Sentenced in Hurricane Fraud

4 of 5 get probation in Hurricane Gustav fraud
The Associated Press - May 6, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, LA (AP) — A federal district judge sentenced the former town clerk of Ball to nine months in prison on Friday and ordered her to pay back nearly $106,000 received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Gustav. Brenda Kimball was the only one of five people sentenced Friday to get prison time. Former police Chief Jay Barber, a former policeman and two former police department employees all got probation. U.S. District Judge Dee Drell is scheduled to sentence former Mayor Ray Hebron on May 23. Drell ordered Kimball to pay $105,566 restitution and fined her $6,000. Barber and Judy Marie Crowe both got three years of probation. Barber must pay restitution of $30,814 and a $10,000 fine. Former officer Anthony Akins and former department employee LaVerne James got one year probation each. James was the first to start cooperating with federal investigators, pleading guilty in 2009 to conspiracy in a scheme to defraud FEMA after Hurricane Gustav in 2008. Prosecutors have said she gave substantial assistance in the remaining cases. Kimball and three other defendants pleaded guilty this year. Kimball, who pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, tried to take back her guilty plea. Drell rejected the request.

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