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Jul 26, 2013 9:15 AM by AP

Marrero woman pleads guilty to financial-aid fraud

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A Marrero woman has pleaded guilty to federal financial-aid fraud during a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Lance Africk.

The Times-Picayune reports Africk set Shanera Washington-Sylve's sentencing for Oct. 24.

She was charged last month with lying about her marital status when applying for financial aid for her daughter's college education.

At a June 25 hearing, Washington-Sylve pleaded not guilty, but her attorney said then that she would change her plea. The reversal was part of an agreement that had been worked out before she was charged in a bill of information.

The maximum penalty, which is rarely meted out to a first-time offender, is five years in prison, a $20,000 fine and three years of supervised probation, plus a $100 special assessment.

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