Guilty Plea In Hurricane Katrina ATM Scheme

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A member of New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union pleaded guilty to stealing $3,400 from the credit union after electric outages caused by 2005's Hurricane Katrina forced the credit union to go offline with its ATM services.

Elvira Mitchell, 42, had already fled the massive storm and was in Houston, when she intentionally overdrew her credit union account by $3,375 even though she knew she had no funds in the account, according to court records.

The credit union member was employed by a temporary agency in Houston at the time and received $8,900 in emergency FEMA funds, none of which was deposited in her credit union account.

Mitchell was one of thousands of New Orleans-area credit union members who overdrew their accounts at offline ATMs in the days following the huge storm. Dozens already have pleaded guilty to theft charges.

Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced April 22.

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