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United States v. Nelson

December 21, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMEELAH NELSON, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND PROPOSED ORDER

1. Plaintiff, United States of America, and defendant Jameelah Nelson hereby agree to resolve the United States' civil complaint for fraud and unjust enrichment as set forth below (the Agreement). The complaint arises from Defendant's submission of false claims for disaster assistance following Hurricane Katrina's August 2005 devastation of parts of Louisiana. The Agreement is based upon the following facts:

A. This is an action to recover treble damages and penalties pursuant to the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 et seq. (The FCA) and for unjust enrichment.

B. Defendant is a lifelong resident of California. She has never resided in, or visited Louisiana.

C. The complaint alleges Defendant falsely claimed to the American Red Cross (ARC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that she suffered hurricane caused losses. Specifically, Defendant claimed that when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Louisiana, Defendant maintained her primary residence there and suffered hurricane caused damage to her home and personal property.

D. As a result of Defendant's false claims, the United States paid temporary housing assistance for Defendant and her family's benefit in the amount of $15,704.37. The United States would not have paid this amount but for Defendant's false representations. The complaint seeks the recovery of three times the amount of this loss and penalties as authorized by the FCA.

D. Defendant admits the allegations contained in the United States' complaint.

2. The United States and Defendant agree to settle this litigation upon the following terms:

A. Service of Process. Defendant has accepted, via overnight mail, service of the summons, complaint and new case documents identified at Docket Entry No. 3.

B. Entry of Judgment. Defendant consents to entry of judgment in the amount of $35,000, representing damages, penalties and costs authorized pursuant to 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729(a)(1) - 3729(a)(3). Defendant further agrees that interest on the judgment shall accrue at 3% interest per annum (simple interest) until the judgment is satisfied. The judgment amount, however, is reduced to $25,000, at 3% simple interest per annum, provided Defendant does not default under the provisions of the parties' repayment plan.

C. Repayment Plan. Beginning December 15, 2009, Defendant shall pay the United States $100 per month until the reduced judgment amount ($25,000) is fully satisfied. The payments are due by the 15th day of each month at the United States Attorney's Office, Attention Financial Litigation Unit, 501 I Street, Suite 10-100, Sacramento, CA 95814. Checks must be payable to the United States Department of Justice. There is no prepayment penalty and Defendant is encouraged to increase her payments as her financial situation allows. Upon Defendant's compliance with these settlement terms, the United States will file a satisfaction of judgment with the Court.

D. Default. Defendant shall be in default if she fails to make a timely payment and thereafter fails to cure the default within ten days from the date the United States mails written notice of the deficiency to Defendant at the address stated in paragraph E, below. The United States may also declare Defendant's default as provided in paragraph F, below. If Defendant fails to cure her default, the judgment shall revert to $35,000, plus 3% annual simple interest from the date judgment was entered, less any previous payments received. No further notice is required. Upon Defendant's failure to cure her default, the United States may declare any unpaid balance immediately due and owing and proceed with collection efforts against Defendant.

E. Written Notice. Whenever written notice is required, the notice shall be addressed and mailed to the individuals identified below, unless those individuals or their successors give ...


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