Maryland Woman Sentenced in Hurricane Katrina Theft

April 15, 2009

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says a former Maryland resident has been sentenced for stealing $60,200 in Hurricane Katrina disaster relief benefits.

Forty-two-year-old Schewanda Baptiste, formerly of Waldorf, was sentenced Monday to three years of probation. The first eight months are to be served on home detention. Baptiste was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and pay FEMA $49,458 in restitution.

According to her guilty plea in January, Baptiste owned a New Orleans home but was living in Maryland when Hurricane Katrina struck.

Baptiste had insurance that covered the property damage. But she falsely claimed the home was her primary residence in an application for disaster relief.

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