by Kevin Caruso
December 6, 2005
Brian Hines, 20, a Red Cross volunteer, and his sister, Charmaine Hines, 32, were jailed on Tuesday after surrendering to authorities. The pair are charged with using stolen Katrina debit cards and defrauding the Red Cross out of close to $250,000.
Red Cross computer technician Alex Rhodes told federal authorities that Brian Hines volunteered to help him research missing Red Cross debit cards. Rhodes later became suspicious of Hines and reported him to the Red Cross.
On November 2, a Red Cross employee saw Hines use a stolen debit card to obtain money from an ATM.
Hines was interviewed by authorities a few days later and confessed to stealing over 100 debit cards and using them to make large withdrawals from ATMs.
Authorities then interviewed Charmaine Hines, who said that her brother gave her several of the stolen cards and that she used them to obtain large amounts of cash.
Brian and Charmaine Hines are facing up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 each in fines.