A former longtime Justice of the Peace in Montgomery County has been charged with fraud in connection to receiving Hurricane Ike relief funds, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
James W. Dinkins, 64, got $120,000 in relief funds by falsely claiming his primary residence was in Galveston County, prosecutors say.
Dinkins was a JP for many years, and in 1986 served as the president of the Justices of the Peace & Constables Association of Texas.
A five-count indictment charges him with defrauding the Small Business Administration.
"The SBA Disaster Loan Program stems from the American public's concern for and generosity toward people who have experienced tragic loss of a home or business as a result of a natural disaster," said SBA special agent Scott Dennis. "Fraud in this program is reprehensible and an affront to the kindness of a giving public. The SBA-OIG Investigations Division will continue to be ever vigilant when investigating allegations of loan fraud such as this."
The indictment came down Wednesday and Dinkins was arrested yesterday, the USAO says. He faces a maximum of 30 years and a $250,000 fine.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.