Man ordered to repay disaster benefits - - Jackson, MS

Man ordered to repay disaster benefits

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GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered 44-year-old Michael A. Smith of Biloxi to repay $2,310 for disaster unemployment benefits he wasn't entitled to receive after Hurricane Katrina.

A federal indictment had charged him with theft of government money and 11 counts of making false statements to receive the checks.

The Sun Herald reports Smith accepted a plea agreement in June to one count of making false statements.

The indictment said Smith filed for disaster assistance in Harrison County with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and claimed he remained unemployed and had received no wages.

U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex III ordered restitution and 40 hours of community service and placed him on probation for three years.

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