GULFPORT -- A Gulfport woman has been ordered confined at home and must repay $17,000 in an oil-spill fraud case.
Kimberly Marie Isabell, 32, was a Gulfport Municipal Court deputy clerk when she filed a claim for oil-spill recovery money after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, said Sheila Wilbanks, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's Southern District office.
Isabell claimed the oil spill caused her to lose earnings from her job with Isabell Janitorial Service. Her mother owns the business but Isabell was not employed there.
Court papers show Isabell received $12,000 in a check and $5,000 in an electronic transfer to her bank.
A federal grand jury indicted her in August on charges of mail fraud and wire fraud.
Isabell pleaded guilty to mail fraud in October.
At her recent sentencing, U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden sentenced her to six months of home confinement and three years of probation. After her release from home confinement, she must perform 80 hours of community service in the first six months.
Attorneys, current and former state representatives, a former co-worker, Isabell's high school principal and her mother wrote the judge, asking that he consider probation. Their letters, placed in the court file, described her as a conscientious worker and single mother who had a lapse of judgment and needs probation instead of prison so she can raise her child and repay her debt.
She faced up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.