Men sentenced in Katrina fraud case

Published 5:19 pm Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two men each have been sentenced to a year in prison, a $5,000 fine and two years of supervised release in a Hurricane Katrina fraud case, U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton said.

Mitchell Glen Kendrix, of Memphis, Tenn., and Paul Darrell Nelson of Lisbon, Maine, pleaded guilty on March 21 in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

Lampton said sentencing was done Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett in Hattiesburg.

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Kendrix and Nelson were charged in December with conspiracy to commit bribery of a federal official for allegedly making a deal to falsify debris removal documents after Hurricane Katrina.

The two could have been sentenced each to up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors said Kendrix was working as a quality assurance representative for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers at the Hintonville dumpsite in Perry County, Miss., when he allegedly accepted payments from Nelson, a debris removal subcontractor.

Nelson was charged with paying Kendrix multiple bribes to create false load tickets for debris that Nelson never dumped at the Hintonville site.

A news release from Lampton’s office said federal agents recorded conversations during which Nelson paid Kendrix $100 for five false load tickets and the two men admitted to at least 14 more false load tickets.