February 3, 2007

Katrina fraudster also filed false student loan applications

Posted in Misc at 9:01 AM by Joe From Boston

How’s this for an odd news item.  I gotta say,sometimes I wonder that the human race has survived as long as it has!

A Bloomington man pleaded guilty Wednesday to collecting nearly $44,000 in funds meant to help Hurricane Katrina victims and $105,000 in fraudulent student college loans, federal authorities said.

Alan King, 29, was charged with theft of government money, loan fraud, false use of Social Security numbers and student financial aid fraud.

Federal investigators allege that King collected 12 separate government payments totaling $43,972 after claiming that he and a family member lived at two different addresses in New Orleans and one in Biloxi, Miss., at the time of the hurricane and flood in September 2005.

King, who federal officials say was actually living in Bloomington, claimed that their housing and two vehicles were destroyed. He also submitted false leases, rental receipts and other documents to back up the claims, according to a news release from Susan Brooks, U.S attorney for the southern district of Indiana.

King also is accused of submitting at least 14 fraudulent student loan applications to The Education Resource Institute, a nonprofit organization that partners with federally insured financial institutions to issue the loans.

The loan applications were submitted between 2004 and 2006, Brooks said. Seven of them, totaling $105,000, were granted.

Brooks said King, who was not a college student, used the money for personal expenses.

Also, King is accused of trying to use false Social Security numbers to get $60,000 in car loans, which he used to buy a 2005 Mercedes-Benz. Less than a year later, he created a fictitious letter from the lender that stated the vehicle was paid for, then took it to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to obtain clear title to the car.

King also is accused of using other people’s Social Security numbers to get credit cards.

King, who was being held Wednesday at the Marion County jail, faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The maximum sentences are not often imposed.

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