Feds Report First Road Home Fraud Indictment
                                            
                   
           Indictment charges New Orleans woman with wire fraud and theft


NEW ORLEANS (June 16, 2008) -- Federal authorities report their first indictment charging Road Home
program fraud by a Katrina survivor, in the latest of a number of hurricane Katrina-related federal
criminal cases...

BARBARA SIMMONS DOWL also known as Barbara Dowl, Barbara Lee Dowl, and Barbara Simmons,
46, a New Orleans resident, was charged in a two-count Indictment by a Federal Grand Jury for Theft
of Government Funds and Wire Fraud, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to the Indictment, Dowl and her husband originally owned property at 8633 Zimple Street in
New Orleans. After the couple lost the property for unpaid taxes about ten years ago, the city sold it to
Robinson Ventures, LLC.

On April 25, 2006, Dowl reportedly filed a quit-claim deed in the city's property records stating that the
city had sold it to her on that date. The quit-claim deed was not authorized by either the city or Robinson
Ventures.

According to the indictment, after recording the deed, Dowl filed a Louisiana Road Home application
falsely and fraudulently stating she was the owner of 8633 Zimple on August 29, 2005 and that the
property was her primary residence when Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

She was awarded a $132,000 HUD grant and an additional $85,930 through Road Home grant. The
indictment charges that Dowl then caused Road Home to wire $46,000 in grant funds to the Small
Business Administration Finance Center to partially pay off an SBA loan in her name.

If convicted on all counts, Dowl faces a maximum term of imprisonment of thirty years, a fine of
$250,000.00 and three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and forfeiture of
all assets.

Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven
beyond a reasonable doubt. But, he said, “Sadly, there are those among us who would go to great lengths
to illegally exploit the benefits funded by taxpayers, which are intended to help our citizens who lost their
homes through a great disaster."

This prosecution, Letten said, "although the first in our district will not by any means be the last – as we
work together tirelessly to punish those who steal from the citizens, and to send a clear message that
such abuses will simply not be tolerated.”
"It's About More Than Just A Hurricane!"
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