U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana
(504) 680-3000
January 13, 2015

New Orleans Woman Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that KWANZA WELLS, age 34, a resident of New Orleans, was sentenced today for conspiring to defraud the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey sentenced WELLS to three years’ probation, 72 hours of community service, $19,500 in restitution to the Deepwater Horizon Oilfield Trust, and $100 special assessment.

According to court documents WELLS, conspired to device a scheme to obtain money by means of fraudulent representations to defraud the GCCF. As a result of her false and fraudulent representations and documentation, the GCCF paid WELLS approximately $19,500.

This case was brought as part of this District’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf oil spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, you can contact the NCDF by either calling the hotline at (866) 720-5721, faxing (225) 334-4707, e-mailing at disaster@leo.gov or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the United States Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorney Irene González was in charge of the prosecution.

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