Stolen Katrina-related recovery funds returned to FEMA

KILN — More than $1.1 million in stolen taxpayer money has been returned to FEMA in a forfeiture order against former Hancock County road manager Roger Joe Ladner of Kiln.

U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis tells The Sun Herald his office has returned the money Ladner took in a conspiracy to steal from the government. Ladner and three relatives were sentenced on guilty pleas in December.

Prosecutors say the 56-year-old Ladner accepted about $1.2 million after Hurricane Katrina by awarding contracts for ditch-cleaning projects to certain contractors including two of his brothers. County supervisors had authorized him to award contracts using FEMA money.

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