Meridian Star

October 31, 2012

Woman pleads not guilty to grant fraud


Associated Press

GULFPORT, Miss. — A Bay St. Louis woman has pleaded not guilty to a charge of make a false statement for a homeowners-assistance grant to elevate her home.

A federal indictment returned Oct. 16 alleges Rhonda Lynn Verduzco falsely represented an elevation certificate had been issued to qualify her for a grant.

Verduzco had applied for an elevation grant offered by the Mississippi Development Authority with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development money.

The grant offered eligible homeowners up to $30,000 to elevate their homes to meet federal requirements put in place after Hurricane Katrina.

The Sun Herald reports Verduzco was released on bond and given a trial date of Jan. 7 in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.