New Orleans Woman Charged with Theft of Federal Program Funds
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 18, 2009|
NEW ORLEANS, LA—SAMANTHA T. CORNELIUS, age 28, a resident of New Orleans, LA, was charged with conspiracy and theft of funds from a federally-funded program today in a two-count bill of information relating to the Supportive Housing Program, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the bill of information, from March 2007 through 2008, CORNELIUS worked as a case-manager for the House of Ruth, a non-profit organization receiving federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to promote the implementation of the Supportive Housing Program. The Supportive Housing Program is a program designed to assist homeless individuals with housing and life-skills training. The bill of information alleges that CORNELIUS conspired with others to steal approximately $109,702 in funds meant to pay temporary rental assistance and other necessary expenses of House of Ruth clients.
If convicted, CORNELIUS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a $250,0000 fine, restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration, and three (3) years of supervised release following imprisonment.
U.S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the bill of information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman.