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May 6, 2011 7:03 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere

Sentencing for 5 of 6 in Ball Disaster Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - A federal judge is scheduled to sentence five of the six defendants from Ball who have pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Gustav.
Those facing sentencing Friday include former town clerk Brenda Kimball, former police chief Jay Barber and three of his former employees. One is LaVerne J. James, a former department clerk who pleaded guilty in 2009 to conspiring to defraud FEMA after both Hurricanes Rita and Gustav, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Prosecutors have said James gave substantial assistance in the remaining cases.
Kimball and three other defendants pleaded guilty this year.
The indictment alleged that they overstated hours worked and mileage on town vehicles and equipment used in response to Gustav and later submitted the falsified timesheets to FEMA for reimbursement.
Former Mayor Ray Hebron is scheduled for sentencing May 23. He and Ball could get up to five years in prison.
In addition to Kimball, James and Barber, those scheduled for sentencing Friday were former police officer Curtis Atkins and former police department employee Judy Marie Crowe.
Kimball, who pleaded guilty in February to one count of conspiracy to defraud the government, tried to take back her guilty plea. U.S. District Judge Dee Drell rejected the request this week.

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