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Businessman ordered to repay Katrina money

GULFPORT — The former owner of a small business in Hancock County has been ordered to repay a $5,000 grant he wasn’t eligible to receive as disaster assistance after Hurricane Katrina.

The Sun Herald reports U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden has sentenced Philip S. Williams on a guilty plea to theft of public money. The grant was from the U.S. Department of Labor and was administered by the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

A multi-count indictment charged Williams with making false statements and claims in March 2008 to receive a grant for his business, Williams Distribution, in Bay St. Louis.

As part of the plea agreement, the judge dismissed remaining charges of mail fraud and false claims and statements.

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