can we trust the government to take care of health care?
A McDonough woman told the federal government that her New Orleans home was damaged during Hurricane Katrina.
But Markisha Burks didnt have a home in New Orleans when the hurricane ripped through Louisiana in 2005.
And now, shes going to jail.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. sentenced Burks, 27, to a year and a day in federal prison.
She also must pay $11,426 in restitution to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross.
Burks told FEMA that her home and personal property were damaged from Hurricane Katrina and gave the federal relief agency a Louisiana address even though she did not live there.
Burks was able to collect $2,000 in housing assistance and more than $9,000 for rental assistance and other aid from FEMA.
A federal jury convicted Burks last December on 12 counts of fraud. She will be on supervised release after she gets out of prison.
This defendant tried to take advantage of FEMAs emergency aid which needed to go to real victims, and now she will pay the price, Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a news release.
The U.S. Attorney General created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force in September 2005. It is designed to investigate and prosecute crimes such as charity fraud and identity theft that occur after a disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.