According to the indictment, from Jan. 1, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2010, Roller submitted false information on grant applications he sent to FEMA so Louisiana and Arkansas fire departments he wrote grants for were eligible to receive the funds. Roller is accused of inflating population data, agency coverage areas and numbers of responded calls on the FEMA grant applications. He also is accused of overstating the type of calls responded to, under-reporting the size of budgets and increasing the scope of their needs on the applications.
It is further alleged in the indictment that Roller asked those awarded the FEMA grants to purchase equipment from his two companies, Louisiana Firefighters Services and a vehicle manufacturing company in Smyrna, Ga. It is against FEMA rules and policies for a grant writer to financially benefit from money awarded.
Also as part of the indictment, Roller was accused of not reporting income on his workers compensation form when he filed for benefits from Oct. 29, 2007 to March 28, 2008.
At the time, he was employed at the U.S. Postal Service when he filed his claim. He did not report that he was receiving income from his job as a fire chief of the Ward 4 Fire Protection District in the Jonesboro area. He also received income as owner of his fire services and vehicle manufacturing companies.
If convicted, Roller faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both on each count of wire fraud and a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both for each count of false statements.
Roller will appear for arraignment in U.S. District Court in Monroe at a date and time to be scheduled by the Court.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Postal Service/Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Campbell is prosecuting the case.