Washington Park couple sentenced to prison for Hurricane Katrina scam - KMOV.com

Washington Park couple sentenced to prison for Hurricane Katrina scam

(KMOV)-- A Washington Park couple was sentenced to prison on Friday after receiving money by falsely representing themselves as Hurricane Katrina victims.

Latonya Robinson, 41, was sentenced to a 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $31,093.67.

Jesse L. Robinson, 56, was sentenced to a four months in jail, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $19,813.67.

On August 18, 2010, Latonya and Jesse Robinson were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three counts of mail fraud in connection with their application for, and receipt of, benefits intended for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Latonya Robinson was also charged with one count of making false statements to United States Postal Inspectors who were investigating the Hurricane Katrina fraud and with four counts of making false statements to the United States Department of Agriculture in connection with her collection of food stamp benefits.

The couple pleaded guilty to the charges on November 8, 2010.

The indictment alleged that Latonya and Jesse Robinson falsely represented themselves to be victims of Hurricane Katrina and applied for aid and financial from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and other sources, including local charities and the St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department.

Latonya and Jesse Robinson were living in Arkansas at the time of Hurricane Katrina.

According to authorities, between 2006 and 2009, Latonya Robinson also defrauded the federally funded food stamp program administered by the State of Illinois. Latonya failed to disclose her husband’s income and presence in her household and submitted false documentation to the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The amount of loss to FEMA was $6,186.00, and various other organizations that provided
Hurricane Katrina aid suffered total losses in the amount of $13,627.67.

The loss to the food stamp program was $11,280.

According to United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton stated that Latonya and Jesse Robinson asked the Court for sentences of probation which were denied.

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