Thursday, May 24, 2012

Mitigation Analyst from Home Elevation Program Sentenced

Wanda Acker Williams, age 33, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced to six moths of home detention followed by four years of probation by U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo after admitting she accepted bribes in connection with her employment in the state’s home elevation program, announced U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Williams pled guilty in January to a one-count bill of information charging her with conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

According to court documents, Williams was a mitigation analyst in the New Orleans Office of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program who used her position as a mitigation analyst to mine the database of homeowners eligible for federal elevation dollars and then provided those names to Rickey Davis in exchange for money. Davis, who pled guilty to bribery on May 16, was in the business of securing contracts with homeowners for general contractors and sub-contractors in exchange for a percentage of the total contract amount. Upon receiving the lists of names from Williams, Davis would either sell the lists to general contractors for them to secure contracts or would use the names as leads to solicit those homeowners to enter a contract with a contractor with whom Davis did business.

Davis is scheduled to be sentenced on August 22, 2012 by U.S. District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle. Brianna LaFrance, a former mitigation analyst who also pled guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with the bribery of Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on June 14 by U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo.

The case is being investigated by Department of Homeland Security-OIG, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Emily K. Greenfield and Matthew Coman.

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