Another local convicted of defrauding Red Cross

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 23, 2010



NEW ORLEANS – A LaPlace man pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to accusations that he fraudulently obtained more than $7,000 in financial aid from the American Red Cross, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.

Wallace Bourgeois Jr., 35, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection related to a series of fraudulent applications for financial assistance filed with the Red Cross following hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to the release. Bourgeois entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. during court proceedings Wednesday.

Court documents show between Sept. 12, 2005, and Oct. 3, 2005, Bourgeois applied six times for one-time disaster assistance grant from the Red Cross. Upon each reapplication, Bourgeois claimed he had not yet received any money.

According to the documents, Bourgeois fraudulently obtained $7,525 from the Red Cross. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release following jail time.

Sentencing has been scheduled for April 28.