Former Ponchatoula housing agency head admits $27K theft

Mar 8, 2017

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite (puh-LEET) says a former head of the Ponchatoula Housing Authority has admitted spending $27,000 in federal money on herself.


Polite's news release says 46-year-old Wanda Wells Cornish of Ponchatoula pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft of government funds.


He says she could get up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled June 29.


Cornish was the authority's executive director from 2011 until 2015. According to a court paper signed as part of her plea agreement, some of the stolen $27,600 came from agency bank accounts and some was charged on agency credit cards.


The authority is a non-profit corporation set up to manage and maintain public housing. It gets money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.