You couldn't make this stuff up if you wanted to.
Louisiana Inmates Get $2,000 Checks from FEMA in Latest Fraud Case
Posted: October 6th, 2005 10:50 AM EDT
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) -- Two inmates jailed in Avoyelles Parish used FEMA's toll-free number to apply for hurricane relief funds and later received $2,000 each from the agency, authorities said.
The inmates are originally from the New Orleans area but have been jailed in Avoyelles Parish for at least a year, Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Chief Deputy Maj. Harry Normand said.
''They did not ride out the hurricane in New Orleans; they were here,'' Normand said.
The inmates requested emergency money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and had it sent to the Avoyelles Correctional Center, Normand said.
The Sheriff's Office took the checks and has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The inmates were not arrested on any charges in connection with the FEMA checks. An FBI spokesman said Wednesday that the agency is looking into the complaint and would not comment further.
Two Rapides Parish residents posing as evacuees also allegedly tried to get emergency money. Joshua Cody Phillips and Elizabeth J. Sweat presented workers at the FEMA Disaster Relief Center in Alexandria with addresses in Metairie, although they are from Rapides Parish, Sheriff's Maj. Herman Walters said. Both were arrested on charges of attempted theft after applying for federal money.
The Sheriff's Office had received a complaint that the couple stayed at the Alexandria Riverfront Center shelter for two weeks and applied for assistance.
''There are people standing in line and waiting who need help, unlike these two,'' Walters said. ''We are keeping our eye on possible fraud cases.''
Sounds like I am missing out on a tax refund to the tune of $2,000.
I'm still amazed that FEMA would send $4000 to inmates of the Avoyelles Correctional Center with no questions asked. It boggles the mind. I wonder if it's too late to get in on this.