Even though Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast more than three years ago, the repercussions of those devastating storms continue to be felt in many ways. Our government, from local to federal, is still discussing how to prevent the tragedy from repeating itself. Thousands of residents from New Orleans remain in a state of displacement, many of them never to return. And, in courthouses throughout the region, those who took advantage of the situation are now learning the consequences for their choices.
Christopher Brian McPherson was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday by a federal judge in Houston after being found guilty of wire fraud. He advertised an investment plan through which he would use people's money to refurbish FEMA trailers used by those in need after the hurricanes and then resell the trailers to the federal government. Instead of putting the hard-earned money of his investors into new carpets and sparkling kitchen sinks for the trailers, McPherson used his financial backing for personal expenses. In addition to his time hanging out in a federal prison, he also will be required to pay $278,000 in restitution to the people he swindled into his scheme.
At Bertolino LLP, we take great pride in being active members in the communities in which we work. We have attorneys who understand the many legal problems that can develop following a hurricane, from insurance claims to looting to investment scams. If you are dealing with difficult circumstances resulting from Katrina, Rita, Ike, or another such disaster and you need legal assistance, please contact us. We have attorneys in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio who are ready to help.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Posted by Tony R. Bertolino, Esq. at 7:50 AM