Ponchatoula woman pleads guilty to Katrina fraud

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a 43-year-old Ponchatoula woman has admitted getting $5,660 by fraud from the American Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten says Rena Marie Brown pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of wire fraud.

He says that, as part of her guilty plea, Brown admitted getting five disaster assistance grants from the American Red Cross, with later applications saying she hadn't received any money from the group.

The Red Cross offered one-time assistance of up to $1,565 for people hit by the hurricanes of 2005.

Brown faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution to the Red Cross. Sentencing is set for Oct. 21.

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