Anyone who has ever driven through Washington Park knows that the place looks like it was recently hit by a hurricane. Save for the strip clubs, the tiny village next East St. Louis is full of buildings that are burned down, boarded up and falling over.
But while some of the residents probably should be eligible for some sort of disaster relief benefits they definitely are not. Well, all of them except for 57-year-old Jesse Robinson and 40-year-old Latoya Robinson.
According to federal prosecutors in Southern Illinois, the couple applied for and received taxpayer dollars that were supposed to go to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
According to the Belleville News-Democrat, both Robinsons were indicted earlier this week by a grand jury on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three counts of mail fraud.
Latonya was also charged with lying to U.S. Postal Inspectors who came to investigate the fraud and with making false statements to the USDA in order to obtain food stamps.
If convicted, the freeloaders face up to 20 years in prison and more than $250,000 in fines.