New Orleans woman pleads guilty to fraud

A 29-year-old New Orleans woman has pleaded guilty to mail fraud relating to a fraudulent application she made for help after the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.

U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente said Alicia Wells entered the plea Friday before U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier.

Boente said Wells applied for disaster assistance, claiming she was working at Center Plate before the explosion. However, Boente said, Wells had never worked there and had submitted false documentation to establish her false employment and false loss of earnings.

Based on her application, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility sent her three checks, totaling $13,200 to which she was not entitled.

Wells faces up to 20 years in jail, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Sentencing is set for July 25.