View Full Version : Norman woman pleads guilty in Katrina fraud

05-24-2007, 12:39 AM
A Norman woman, Helen Marie Wheeler, 41, pleaded guilty Monday in Oklahoma City federal court to making false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to obtain Hurricane Katrina disaster relief funds.

According to court documents, Wheeler, in September 2005, submitted a fraudulent application for disaster assistance to FEMA, claiming her primary residence was in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005. Wheeler falsely claimed her home was damaged and that she lost work due to the disaster, prosecutors said.

At Monday’s hearing, Wheeler admitted she was living in Norman at the time Katrina struck and did not suffer unemployment or damage to her residence due to the hurricane. She admitted wrongfully obtaining $17,540 from FEMA that was intended for Hurricane Katrina victims, and agreed to repay all the funds she received.

At her sentencing, which will be set in about 90 days, Wheeler faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution, according to John C. Richter, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Labor, and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Black.

05-24-2007, 09:07 AM
lock her up

05-24-2007, 03:58 PM
This is the kind of crap that happens when there is no accountablity or screening process in place.

Here we are about to start another hurricane season and yet no registration system or screening process exists. At the least a person should have to have a drivers license from the affected area and some kind of proof of a permanant address at the time the storm hits.

As you can you see this program did not help out the people who truly needed the money. Instead it was handed out to the first in line screaming give me money.

Then again they had no choice when the media was screaming "OH FOR THE LOVE OF PETE GET THOSE PEOPLE SOME HELP THEY NEED MONEY!!"