A Louisiana mayor has pled guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) before a federal judge, according to U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley.
Roy E. Hebron, former mayor of the Town of Ball, Louisiana entered a guilty plea late last week to a charge of conspiracy to defraud FEMA following Hurricane Gustav.
The government’s plea agreement with Hebron required him to resign from his office as mayor. The resignation was effective immediately. Pleading to the same charge was Brenda Kimball, the clerk of the Town of Ball.
Jay L. Barber, former police chief for the Town of Ball, along with Anthony Akins, Judy
Crowe, and Laverne James previously pled guilty to related charges and were cooperating
with the government.
Hebron, 56, and Kimball, 54, admitted at guilty plea hearings before U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell that they conspired to submit false statements to FEMA in an application for benefits to be paid in connection with the Presidential Disaster Declaration for the State of Louisiana in September 2008 for Hurricane Gustav. Hebron and Kimball admitted to lying to the government by overstating the use of town vehicles and equipment and hours worked by town employees to receive government funds to which they individually and the Town of Ball were not entitled. Hebron served as mayor of Ball, Louisiana from 1988 until 2011.
Both Hebron and Kimball face a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine,
or both. The two will remain free on bond pending their sentencing hearing, which is set for May 6, 2011.
The case was investigated by Special Agent Randolph J. Deaton, IV of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Special Agents Rick Perry and Steven Monachello of the United States Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Cytheria D. Jernigan and First Assistant United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook.