U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Louisiana, November 16, 2020
NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that BRUCE D. COX, age 62, of Mandeville, was charged on November 12, 2020 with theft of government funds in connection a false application for disaster assistance.
According to the Bill of Information, COX is charged with submitting a falsified application to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (“FEMA”) for disaster assistance. The application sought disaster assistance for a rental property in Robert, Louisiana that COX managed, following the August 2016 storms and flooding in Tangipahoa Parish. In the application, COX falsely stated that property in Robert was the owner’s primary residence, when in fact COX rented out the property to a tenant and knew that the property’s owner had never lived there. As a result of false statements in the application, FEMA paid disaster benefits to the property’s owner, despite the property owner not qualifying for those benefits.
If convicted, COX faces up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $100,000, and up to one year of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. U.S. Attorney Strasser reiterated that a bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas D. Moses is in charge of the prosecution.