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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Texas Man Indicted for FEMA Fraud

Duane Ray Clark, 34, of Gainesville, Texas, has been charged with making false claims and false statements in an application with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew Orwig of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to information contained in the indictment, Clark filed false applications with FEMA for Disaster Housing Assistance and Individual Assistance claiming to have suffered damages during Hurricane Katrina. As a result of those claims, Clark received disaster assistance in excess of $12,000. If convicted, Clark faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of either guilt or innocence.

"Disaster assistance agencies, such as FEMA, have been looted by greedy individuals trying to make a quick-buck," says Orwig. "We will continue to investigate and prosecute reports of fraud."

In September 2005, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud and insurance fraud. The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force - chaired by Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher of the Criminal Division - includes the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and others. This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Blake.


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