Houston/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on April 23, 2024
Houston Woman Charged with Fraudulently Seeking Over $500K in Disaster Relief FundsSource: Unsplash/ Tingey Injury Law Firm

A Houston woman arrested as she faces federal charges for allegedly concocting a scheme that sought to milk disaster relief programs to the tune of more than half a million dollars, as announced Tuesday by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani's office. The 26-year-old, Khalia Douglas, is expected to face a judge for the first time today at 2 p.m. after being charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, she preyed on federal funds designed to support those hammered by disaster from March 2020 through June 2021, the charges against her allege.

The criminal information filed on April 16, details how Douglas purportedly led a pack of co-conspirators, providing them with the blueprint for drawing cash from FEMA, the Small Business Administration, and even a bank, despite their claims being laced with lies. Her playbook extended to instructions on duping FEMA into dishing out rental assistance, critical needs, and personal property assistance – all, the allegations suggest, came with a price as she collected payments for her fraudulent guidance, according to U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani's office.

Continuing her alleged web of deceit, she didn't stop at FEMA; Douglas is accused of guiding others through the maze of false paperwork to secure Paycheck Protection Payment loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and various bank loans, the charges layout, in a crime that caused an attempted loss to the tune of $514,415. And if the hammer of justice swings firmly against Douglas, she could face a future behind bars for up to five years and get slapped with a $250,000 fine at maximum.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rodolfo Ramirez with the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General conducting the investigation.