Ex-FEMA Worker Pleads Guilty to Fraud

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A former Federal Emergency Management Agency worker and her cousin have pleaded guilty to orchestrating one of the biggest Hurricane Katrina scams to become public since the 2005 storm.

Former FEMA employee Lashonda Booker, and her cousin, Peggy Hilton, were charged Jan. 8 with conspiracy to commit mail fraud in a scheme to steal $721,000 that was meant for storm victims.

U.S. Attorney Donald Burkhalter has said it's the biggest theft of Katrina money by individuals to be made public so far.

Sheila Wilbanks, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office, said they pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. Sentencing is set for April 29.

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