BEAUMONT, TX – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 32-year-old Nacogdoches woman has been sentenced to federal prison for hurricane related fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
Carol Ramsey pleaded guilty on Mar. 16 to mail fraud and was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield. Ramsey was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $26,200.00.
According to information presented in court, after Hurricane Rita in August 2005, Ramsey devised a scheme using the identity of a woman incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system to apply for and receive by U.S. mail a check for disaster-related assistance.
After Ramsey received the U.S. Treasury check in the amount of $21,842.00, she had someone else cash it at a Lufkin check-cashing service. Ramsey was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 5 and charged with hurricane-related fraud.
In September 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud and insurance fraud.
The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force includes members of the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, among others.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney John M. Bales.