Jonesboro man pleads in FEMA fraud case - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Jonesboro man pleads in FEMA fraud case

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KNOE 8 News) – A 57-year-old Jonesboro man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud after illegally obtaining Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants and making false statements on workers compensation forms.

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced Monday that Curtis Roller, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter.

According to evidence presented in the indictment and the guilty plea hearing, Roller submitted false information on grant applications he sent to FEMA so that fire departments in Louisiana and Arkansas were eligible to receive federal funds. Roller intended for those funds to be used to purchase equipment from his company, Louisiana Firefighting Services.

Roller was accused of inflating population data, agency coverage areas and numbers of responded calls on the FEMA grant applications. He also is accused of overstating the type of calls responded to, under-reporting the size of budgets and increasing the scope of their needs on the applications.

It is against FEMA rules and policies for a grant writer to financially benefit from money awarded. Roller faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and restitution for each count of wire fraud.
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