East Texas minister, family guilty of using hurricane funds for personal use

FILE - Walter Diggles shown in his office Thursday, June 5, 2008 in Jasper, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
FILE - Walter Diggles shown in his office Thursday, June 5, 2008 in Jasper, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

LUFKIN, Texas (AP) — An East Texas minister and his family have been convicted of using hurricane relief funds to pay off personal expenses and fund operations of a 40-member Jasper church.

Walter and Rosie Diggles and their daughter Anita Diggles were all convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Walter Diggles also was convicted of two counts of theft of federal funds, 11 counts of wire fraud and three of money laundering. Wife Rosie Diggles also was convicted of 10 counts of wire fraud and one of money laundering.

Walter Diggles is a former executive director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments. He received about $4.4 million from 2007 to 2012. Prosecutors say $1.3 million was spent on personal expenses.

U.S. District Judge Ron Clark will determine the family’s sentences.

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