• 37°

Jackson Co. man convicted of Katrina fraud

A Jackson County man will be sentenced Dec. 4 on six counts of fraud related to the filing of false claims to get disaster assistance funds following Hurricane Katrina.

Danny Gene Hale was convicted Wednesday in federal court in Gulfport. U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola ordered Hale held in federal custody until his sentencing.

Hale faces a maximum 80 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines on all counts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hale was convicted of making a false statement to FEMA for disaster assistance, filing a false claim with FEMA, theft of government funds and three counts of mail fraud.

Prosecutors said Hale received $11,000 from FEMA by claiming hurricane damage at an address where he no longer lived.

Prosecutors said when Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Hale was in federal custody on forged money order charges and was not released until December 2005.