Mississippi man admits defrauding La. Road Home

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A 72-year-old man from Picayune, MS has pleaded guilty to defrauding Louisiana's Road Home program, set up to help residents recover after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Robert Lombardino entered the plea Thursday before U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. to a one-count bill of information on charges of theft of government funds in connection with the recovery program.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says Lombardino applied for help in 2007 after property he owned in Violet was allegedly damaged by Katrina. In his application, Letten says Lombardino indicated the home was his primary residence and he received about $134,000 in Road Home funds.

A subsequent investigation, however, revealed that Lombardino was living elsewhere when Katrina made landfall. Lombardino faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced September 16th.

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