Two St. Louis area women have been indicted on charges of stealing money from the United States government based on false claims made to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for relief funds available to victims of Hurricane Katrina. One woman was also indicted for assisting the other in these claims, United States Attorney Catherine Hanaway reported.
Andrea N. Gholston, 23, of St. Louis, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two felony counts of stealing money from the United States government and one felony count of aiding and abetting another person to steal money from the U.S. government.
Charliscia G. Brooks, 25, of the 6800 block of St. Louis, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of stealing money from the United States government
If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and/or a fine up to $250,000.
Although these are separate indictments, Gholston and Brooks are linked. The indictments allege that in September 2005, Gholston applied for and received two checks for $2,000 and $2,358 from FEMA for Katrina disaster relief. In November Gholston allegedly assisted Brooks in the application which resulted in the receipt of $10,391 from FEMA.
Neither of these defendants were victims of Katrina and were not entitled to any disaster assistance.
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