Prosecutors ask to seize property to repay stolen funds

December 24, 2017

LUFKIN, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking to seize nearly $1 million in property from an East Texas minister and his family, who were convicted this summer of fraud charges for using hurricane relief funds to pay off personal expenses and fund their Jasper church.

Walter Diggles, the former executive director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, was convicted in August of 17 counts of wire fraud and other charges. His wife, Rosie Diggles, was convicted on 12 counts of fraud and money laundering. Their adult daughter, Anita Diggles, was convicted of one conspiracy charge.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Gibson is asking a judge to order the forfeiture of more than $970,000 in property purchased with the funds intended to help with recovery from hurricanes Rita, Katrina, Ike and Dolly.

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