LaPlace Woman charged with FEMA fraud

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2012

By robin shannon


NEW ORLEANS – Federal prosecutors have charged a LaPlace woman with theft of government funds for allegedly collecting FEMA money she was not eligible for.

Shanette Raquell Kennard, 33, is accused of improperly collecting more than $28,000 in FEMA disaster assistance for damages claimed as a result of Hurricane Gustav in 2008, according to a release from U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s Office. Kennard was named in a one-count Bill of Information that was released Wednesday.

Authorities say Kennard filed for disaster assistance by claiming she owned and was living in a mobile home in Convent at the time of the hurricane and that the residence suffered storm damage. Kennard received $28,800 in disaster assistance as a result of the claim.

An investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, determined the home in Convent was not Kennard’s primary residence at the time of the storm and she did not become owner of the home until a month after the hurricane.

If convicted, Kennard faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. There is also a $100 a special assessment fee.