Texas ‘Victims’ Plead Guilty for Making False Hurricane Katrina Claims

December 13, 2005

Two McLennan County, Texas women, apprehended after they claimed to be victims of Hurricane Katrina and attempted to obtain federal emergency benefits, have pleaded guilty to filing false, fictitious or fraudulent claims and could face five years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.

Prosecutors told KWTX, Channel 10, they allege the two applied online to receive financial relief benefits from FEMA and falsely claimed to be Louisiana residents who had suffered losses because of Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge Walter Smith heard testimony in Waco, Texas from Michelle Lynn Goodwin of Moody and Kelly Suzanne Oliver of Waco. Sentencing will take place Feb. 8.

The same charge is pending against George Marrero, who prosecutors say worked with Oliver at the Waco Humane Society. Marrero and Goodwin were named in federal indictments charging one count of making a false, fictitious or fraudulent claim.

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