Indictment accuses 2 of trying to defraud city

Two people accused of trying to cash in on the city’s attempts to deal with a flood-prone neighborhood have been indicted for criminal attempt to commit a crime.

The Richmond County grand jury handed up an indictment Monday against Belinda Ann Winfrey, 50, of the 1800 block of Empress Court, and Leomie Fielding, 66, of the 3700 block of Stockholm Drive.

According to the indictment, Winfrey and Fielding filled out paperwork on Feb. 11 that showed Winfrey was renting a home that Fielding owned in the 2000 block of Walnut Street in Hyde Park. According to the indictment, the potential value was $5,000 to $25,000 in relocation costs. The indictment says the claim was false.

The Augusta Commission voted last year to proceed with a plan to buy about 350 parcels of property in the Hyde Park area, pay relocation costs for residents and build a retention pond. The commission set aside $4.5 million for the project estimated to cost $18 million.

The low-lying area of the city has repeatedly flooded over the years, and warning signs are posted about possible contamination.

In the 1990s, according to reports in The Augusta Chronicle, a nearby junkyard was declared a Superfund site, and a factory cleanup of contamination cost $46 million.

The area is just south of Gordon Highway along Dan Bowles Road.

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Salaries cut into Hyde Park relocation funds
Augusta officials explain relocation plan for Hyde Park residents
Commission approves relocation, compensation for Hyde Park residents
Hyde Park residents skeptical about relocation plan
DATABASE: Map of the Hyde Park area and database of property owners

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