Five Arrested For Fraudulently Obtaining Disaster Benefits Following Hurricane Isaac

Deputies from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) conducted a fraud warrant roundup today to pick up five individuals suspected of felony theft by fraud following Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

 

The individuals are accused of using deceased relatives and other false information in order to obtain Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) and other public assistance benefits.

 

Sarah Sonnier, 27, of 1956 Christian Street, Baton Rouge, was arrested for Felony Theft after allegedly claiming a deceased relative as part of the household and underreporting her income in order to obtain DSNAP benefits in the amount of $526.

 

Louvanna Pope, 57, of 2701 Honey Avenue, Baker, was arrested for Felony Theft after allegedly claiming an incarcerated relative and a deceased relative as part of her household in order to obtain $526 in DSNAP benefits.

 

Juanita Russell, 55, of 7075 Silverleaf Avenue, Baton Rouge, was arrested for Felony Theft after allegedly claiming a deceased relative as part of her household and failing to report all available household income in order to obtain $668 in DSNAP benefits.

 

Flora Williams, 49, of 994 West McKinley Street, Baton Rouge, is wanted for Felony Theft for allegedly claiming a deceased relative as part of her household and underreporting her income in order to obtain benefits in the amount of $526.

 

Demetria Ayio, 45, of 4149 Monroe Avenue, Baton Rouge, was arrested for Felony Theft for allegedly including two deceased relatives and her child’s father as household members, and underreporting the household income in order to obtain $668 in DSNAP benefits.

 

DCFS conducted an investigation concerning the fraudulent activity and turned warrants over to the East Baton Rouge Sherriff’s Office this week. Deputies located individuals this morning and booked them on the charges listed above.

 

“DCFS uses all available tools and technology to track those who commit fraud in our public assistance programs,” said DCFS Chief of Staff Tia Embaugh. “Cases such as this should serve as a warning that fraudulent activity is not tolerated in any of DCFS’ programs, which are intended to provide assistance to children and families. Anyone suspected of committing fraud will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

“Falsifying state documents in order to receive benefits is a crime,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. “We will work closely with our local, state and federal counterparts to make sure that those committing these crimes are arrested.”