Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2022 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Woman Gets 43 Years for Hurricane Katrina Fraud

Montgomery – A federal judge sentenced a Montgomery woman to 516 months or 43 years in prison Thursday for cheating the federal government after Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. Attorney Leura Canary said in a statement that it's one of the longest sentences to be handed out in a string of fraud-related convictions arising out of Hurricanes Katrina or Rita.

28-year-old Bernetta LaShay Willis was convicted of 22 different counts involving the filing of false claims for disaster assistance, theft of funds, conspiracy, threatening a witness from another Katrina case, drug distribution, weapons charges and lying to federal agents.

Canary said Willis was successful in stealing $80,000 in funds and had also devised a scheme to steal more than $500,000.

At least 44 defendants from the Middle District of Alabama have been charged with defrauding the government of disaster assistance money.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.