Meet Robert Green, Hurricane Katrina victim and activist. He was quoted widely in the media, became a film star, and caught the attention of Brad Pitt–who was about to give him a new house before discovering that Robert Green was a Hurricane Katrina fraud artist. Via NOLA.com:
A Lower 9th Ward man who has campaigned for rebuilding his neighborhood since losing his home, his mother and a granddaughter in flooding after Hurricane Katrina must spend five years on probation and pay the government restitution of $8,000 for his admitted role in a house-flipping scheme before the storm, a federal court judge ordered today.
U.S. District Judge A.J. McNamara imposed the sentence on Robert Green, 52, who had been facing a possible five-year prison term,. The order came after the judge heard no objection from a federal prosecutor, who cited Green’s help with government investigations and after Green’s public defender lawyer reported that Green had begun turning his life around even before he was charged in the loan-fraud scheme.
McNamara said that while Green’s efforts to rebuild his life since Katrina are admirable, even more important is what Green has done to address a drug problem that came to light when he tested positive for cocaine use. Aware that Green spent time in a Mississippi drug treatment facility, the judge told him, “You have apparently done well.”
In a plea deal that requires that Green help the government with its investigations, Green admitted early last year to using his skills as a preparer of income tax returns to advance a scheme that left the federal goverment responsible for paying off hundreds of thousands of dollars in home mortgages that went into default. The borrowers used false tax returns that Green drew up to qualify for federally-insured loans from Citywide Mortgage Co. Court records show that Green was paid $8,000 for his services.
Probation for defrauding the government during a massive disaster? Yeah, I’d say he’s “done well.”
I guess we should just be glad that he wasn’t screaming “Shut up, white boy!” while he pulled off his hoax.
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