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National Insurance Crime Bureau

Covington Woman Sentenced for FEMA Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Louisiana, May 19, 2021

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that KELLY GAUTHIER, age 49, a resident of Covington, Louisiana, was sentenced today to 15 months imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to one count of Theft of Government Funds in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 641.

According to the Bill of Information to which GAUTHIER pled guilty, she filed an application with the Department of Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on or about March 14, 2016, following severe storms and flooding across Louisiana. GAUTHIER claimed that she needed assistance due to her ownership and occupancy of a home where she was living. In order to show her purported ownership of the home, GAUTHIER submitted fraudulent supporting documentation showing that she was the owner of the home when, in fact, she was not. GAUTHIER was issued a total of $29,075.56 in FEMA assistance, including assistance for home repairs, rental assistance, transportation, and personal property.

The Honorable U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman sentenced GAUTHIER to 15 months imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Judge Feldman also ordered GAUTHIER to pay restitution in the amount of $20,946.54 to FEMA.

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, for its work in investigating this case. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh.

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