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New Orleans minister convicted of stealing Katrina grant

November 20, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A New Orleans minister has been convicted of stealing a $33,000 home repair grant after Hurricane Katrina.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office says a judge found 58-year-old Elijah Mealancon guilty on Monday of unauthorized use of moveables and ordered him jailed until sentencing.

Cannizzaro says three more cases have identical charges against Mealancon, of Elijah Christian Ministries.

Prosecutors say he told flood victims if they pooled their state Road Home grants with him, he could buy supplies more cheaply and get volunteers to do the work.

The victims said the repairs were never done, their money was never returned, and they couldn’t reach Mealancon.

He chose trial without a jury.

Judge Franz Zibilich scheduled sentencing Dec. 17. The maximum sentence would be two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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