Jackson Co. man convicted of Katrina fraud

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The U.S. Attorney's Office says a Jackson County man will be sentenced on six counts of Hurricane Katrina fraud.

Authorities says Danny Gene Hale was convicted yesterday (Wednesday) in federal court in Gulfport.

Hale was convicted of making a false statement to FEMA for disaster assistance, filing a false claim with FEMA, theft of government funds and three counts of mail fraud.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola ordered Hale held in federal custody until his sentencing on December 4th.

Hale faces a maximum 80 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines on all counts.

Prosecutors said Hale received $11,000 from FEMA by claiming hurricane damage at an address where he no longer lived.

Prosecutors said when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Hale was in federal custody on forged money order charges and was not released until December 2005.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) AP-NY-09-06-07 1227ED