Amazing. Keep giving them handouts! Tax dollars going to waste.
N.J. HURRICANE SCAMMER'S TALE WAS HOT AIR: COPS
By WAYNE PARRY
September 18, 2005 -- A man who arrived in Newark with a heart-rending tale of woe about fleeing Hurricane Katrina was exposed as a scammer - and arrested yesterday for fraud, officials said.
His story - of fleeing the storm before his Gulf Coast trailer and all his worldly possessions were washed away; hitchhiking to the nearest bus terminal; and riding for days to New Jersey - is an almost total lie, authorities say.
Donald Adair, 42, was charged with scamming the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of thousands of dollars in aid meant for hurricane victims.
He was being held at the Bergen County jail on $25,000 bail, and has admitted making up his tale of being a hurricane victim, Feldman said.
"This guy thought he was entitled to something, but it sure wasn't anything related to the hurricane," Feldman said.
An AP reporter met Adair at an emergency shelter in Newark on Sept. 9, where Adair said he was a Hurricane Katrina evacuee who had arrived in Newark the day before in search of his sister, hoping she would take him in.
At one point, Adair put his head in his hands and appeared to cry.
"It was all, 'Hurry up and wait,' " he said at the time. "They'd say, 'Yes, were going to help you; now here's your number, go sit down over there and wait.' Finally I just got fed up and left on my own."
The Associated Press did not publish a story about Adair at the time.
Adair told a reporter he left his trailer near the coast in Long Beach, Miss., before the storm hit. He said he was a self-employed construction worker, and although he had a company truck, he left it behind, choosing to hitchhike to a city he called "Jacksonville, Mississippi," where he rode the storm out in a shelter, but could not describe what type of building it was: a church, a school, a government building.
He complained about being given only sealed foil packets of military rations to eat, referring to the items, called MREs for "meals ready to eat," as "MRIs." He also groused about having to add water to them. (The meals are designed to be eaten without water or any other preparation.)
The Newark shelter got him a temporary room at a nearby YMCA, and helped him navigate the maze of agencies offering aid to hurricane victims. An AP reporter accompanied Adair to a Red Cross office where he filled out an application for aid, and was given $360 in emergency funds and placed in a motel for up to 14 days.
When the Red Cross worker asked for his ZIP code in Mississippi, he said he didn't remember it. And when asked for his phone number in Mississippi, Adair started by giving a 732 area code. When the reporter told him that was an area code in New Jersey, Adair said he could not remember his Mississippi number.
On Sept. 11, Feldman said, Adair applied for aid from FEMA and had $2,000 deposited into his bank account. He later withdrew $1,600 of it for a down payment on a Jeep Cherokee, Feldman said.
His ex-wife, Heather, who now lives in Texas, said Adair never lived in Mississippi — or anywhere near the disaster zone, for that matter.
"He's in New Jersey because I've been chasing him all over the country for back child support he owes for our son," she said. AP
Wonder if they will use FEMA money for his back child support? Guy can't even lie well. I REALLY want to see him eat a MRI.