Tracie Denise Bell: Cop Who Bilked Hurricane-Kids Charity Gets 16 Years In Prison

Tracie Denise Bell: Basketball was the road to ill-gotten riches

A Houston police officer who tried to bilk $435,000 via a bogus basketball league for hurricane evacuees has been sentenced to 16 years in prison, the DAs office announced.

Tracie Denise Bell, 41, had been with HPD for a dozen years when, prosecutors say, she conspired with a rookie cop to defraud the Houston Area Urban League. She eventually got almost $167,000 ourt of HAUL by billing it for expenses for several evacuee basketball leagues and camps that were non-existent.

"The jury was able to get a very clear picture of how she was able to take advantage of this program under the guise of providing much-needed services to children who had next to nothing," prosecutor Jennifer Devine said. "Jurors were extremely attentive and conscientious. They held Bell accountable for her unlawful conduct because the evidence demanded it."

HAUL's funding for the activities came from the Red Cross.

One of the documents showed Bell falsely reported running a camp at Hamilton Middle School for 330 kids who had been forced to evacuate from either Hurricane Katrina or Rita.

The other former cop accused in the scheme, Kirshondra K. Richardson, 28, has yet to go to trial.

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