Texas Men Charged With 2005 Hurricane Rita Fraud

December 13, 2012

Two Southeast Texas men have been charged with submitting bogus invoices to steal from government recovery programs after 2005’s Hurricane Rita.

A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in Beaumont names Tony Lynn Thornton Sr. and Anthony Welborn Jones, both of Kountze.

Each man faces one count of conspiracy to commit theft from programs receiving federal funds and two counts of theft from the programs. Thornton also faces seven counts of bank fraud.

Prosecutors say Thornton owned a lumber yard and led the Hardin County Disaster Recovery Alliance Inc. Jones had a home repairs and contracting business.

Thornton attorney Doug Barlow denied the allegations and said his client had no intent to defraud anyone. Thornton was freed on his own recognizance.

No information was immediately available on a lawyer for Jones.

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