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Posted: 2/11/2006 4:55:54 AM EDT
New York Times

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 —

Thousands of applicants for federal emergency relief money after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita used duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or bogus addresses, suggesting that the $2.3 billion program was a victim of extensive fraud, a Congressional auditor will report Monday.

The examination of the so-called Expedited Assistance program determined that the Federal Emergency Management Agency failed to take even the most basic steps to confirm the identifies of about 1.4 million people who sought expedited cash assistance, leaving the program vulnerable to the "significant fraud and abuse," the Government Accountability Office intends to report.

The auditors did not try to estimate the total dollar amount of fraudulent claims. But the report says that FEMA itself had found that 900,000 of the 2.5 million applications for all forms of individual assistance were "potential duplicates."

Even when FEMA's automated computer system picked out what might be fraudulent applications, payments were at times still sent, says the advance testimony of Gregory D. Kutz, the managing director of the G.A.O.'s forensic audits unit.

The controls were so lax that auditors were able to secure their own $2,000 relief check by using "falsified identifies, bogus addresses and fabricated disaster stories," and then simply waiting for the money to arrive in the mail, says the report for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

Nicol Andrews, a FEMA spokeswoman, said the agency recognized there could be fraud. But Ms. Andrews said the priority was getting aid as fast as possible to hundreds of thousands of families in dire need.

"We took a calculated risk in a catastrophic situation," she said. "It was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, some may have cheated the system."

She added that some arrests have been made. The agency is also suspending payments to people suspected of trying to cheat the system.

Still, the auditors found signs of fraud nearly everywhere:

¶Nearly half of the 11,000 individuals who received special debit cards as payment — an approach used in the immediate aftermath of the storm in Texas — got a second $2,000 payment in emergency aid.

¶Inspections of 200 properties in Texas and Louisiana listed as home addresses turned up 80 that were vacant lots or nonexistent apartments.

¶More than half of a group of 248 other applicants had used Social Security numbers that were never issued, belonged to dead people or did not match the name provided.

In one case, auditors found 17 individuals, some with the same last name and addresses, who used 34 bogus Social Security numbers to collect more than $103,000 in payments.

Auditors found isolated instances where the electronic debit cards were used to pay for "adult entertainment," a .45-caliber handgun, jewelry or bail bond services.



Well. . . color me suprised.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 4:57:48 AM EDT
<libtard> Bush knew! </libtard>
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 4:59:44 AM EDT
Does not surprise me one bit.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:01:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Does not surprise me one bit.



Me neither.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:01:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Does not surprise me one bit.



+1 I would have been surprised if they didn't find fraud in that shit hole.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:03:08 AM EDT
Is this what FEMA was designed to do? Why doesn't the state pick up the tab? I can imagine FEMA stepping in if a 100 foot wall of water hit Montana, but when you live on a coast line, i would hope the state would have a reserve fund for such events.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:07:06 AM EDT
NO! Say it's not so.....

Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:12:31 AM EDT
FEMA

Fucking
Emergency
Money
­Away

Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:17:24 AM EDT






Nope, not really surprised here.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:24:14 AM EDT
You could knock me over with a feather.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:26:50 AM EDT
I am shocked... sh*yawn*ocked, I tell you...
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:34:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
FEMA

Fucking
Emergency
Money­
Away





+1
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:36:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FooBarBaz:
<libtard> Bush knew! </libtard>



AND he lied and it's all his fault.

Thought I would go ahead and get all those out of the way early.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:38:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
I am shocked... sh*yawn*ocked, I tell you...



Yep.

Unfortunately I have to pay for it.

Bush is really twisting on this one. They burned "Brownie" and now he's returning the favor.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:41:55 AM EDT
Three frauds were committed -
- One by the applicants,
- One by Federal employees that don't bother to check the validity of applications, and
- One by Congress, for appopriating public money that anyone with a lick of sense would know was going to be stolen.

Link Posted: 2/11/2006 5:49:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JoeWang:

Originally Posted By macman37:
I am shocked... sh*yawn*ocked, I tell you...



Yep.

Unfortunately I have to pay for it.

Bush is really twisting on this one. They burned "Brownie" and now he's returning the favor.



YEah, Brownie burned Chertoff pretty good yesterday; told Senators it was more efficient to go around his boss than thru him. OUCH!!!
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:17:33 AM EDT
Damn theives! Hope we will prosecute and lock them up and collect the $ with iterest and penalties. But it won't happen, thieves get away with this because of the damn liberal judicial system.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:25:38 AM EDT
Bush is definitely at fautl on this one. Bush was definitely too focused on anti-terror, and directed Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part of to focus on terrorism. The problem is the overlapping responsibility on both agencies.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:32:50 AM EDT

Thousands of applicants for federal emergency relief money after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita used duplicate or invalid Social Security numbers or bogus addresses, suggesting that the $2.3 billion program was a victim of extensive fraud.....


I'm shocked..................NOT!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:34:07 AM EDT
The problem is there was so much heat about getting money to these people that the actual workers who processed the claims were told to process it, then later they would go after the frauds.

Basically the attitude was let the frauds get their money for fear of denying someone who was not a fraud and it be on the local news.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:38:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
Bush is definitely at fautl on this one. Bush was definitely too focused on anti-terror, and directed Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part of to focus on terrorism. The problem is the overlapping responsibility on both agencies.





The idiots who chose not to get out of the way of a Cat. 5 storm are at fault. The corrupt Louisiana politicians that pissed away the money for improvents are at fault. The folks who see welfare and handouts as a way of life are at fault.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:41:34 AM EDT
More of our money down the tubes. What the fuck else is new?

This is why I have such a hard time with giving cash to almost any charity. Some scumbag is always waiting the liberate the funds to pay for his Ferrari or his house in the Hamptons, while people that just lost everything go without.

After a natual disaster such as these, I'll send food and water and that's it. (and someone will get his hands on that and sell it).

Many, many people suck.

Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:43:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sgthoskins:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Does not surprise me one bit.



+1 I would have been surprised if they didn't find fraud in that shit hole.

Yea, no shit! Corrupt sum bitches!
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:53:14 AM EDT
There is rampant stupidity, incompetency, and in some cases corruption in our government - especially when it comes to spending our tax dollars.

Pisses me off.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:56:43 AM EDT
When we told FEMA that we were concerned about double dipping, they told us not to worry about it. They would deal with it after the fact.

Locally we arrested one for fraud, he faces trial in federal court in Houston. We arrested one Transvestite evacuee for showering in the womens locker room at a shelter. Now we are dealing with the drug dealers, gang wars between Louisiana gangs and locals, increased burglaries and theft. Sad to say, but a significant number of these people are just scum.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:57:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photokirk:

Originally Posted By warlord:
Bush is definitely at fautl on this one. Bush was definitely too focused on anti-terror, and directed Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part of to focus on terrorism. The problem is the overlapping responsibility on both agencies.





The idiots who chose not to get out of the way of a Cat. 5 storm are at fault. The corrupt Louisiana politicians that pissed away the money for improvents are at fault. The folks who see welfare and handouts as a way of life are at fault.



+1 If the local .gov would have evacuated it's people FEMA would have been able to handle the problem. Blaming Bush is like is like blaming your father because you thow like a girl.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 6:59:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
Bush is definitely at fautl on this one. Bush was definitely too focused on anti-terror, and directed Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part of to focus on terrorism. The problem is the overlapping responsibility on both agencies.



Handling local natural disasters is the responsibility of the local government.

The only role of the feds is to come in once it's over and hand out checks.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:00:09 AM EDT


Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!!!
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:05:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
Bush is definitely at fautl on this one. Bush was definitely too focused on anti-terror, and directed Homeland Security, of which FEMA is a part of to focus on terrorism. The problem is the overlapping responsibility on both agencies.



That, and his damn hurricane machine.

Yeah, let's not focus on terrorism. You boy bubba certainly didn't.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:06:54 AM EDT
Hmmm, FEMA rolls in with lots of cash & a liberal mindset:

Let's see, disadvantaged people looters who have been dependant on gov't assistance bilked the gov't out of more.

VS.

The working folks who really could have used a loan or a grant to get their lives back in order just enough to get back to work couldn't qualify. Not to mention couldn't even get a case of water, a few bags of ice or some MRE's because they were too busy working to support those trying to get power back on, rescue others, help neighbors. Pinned down by looter sniper fire.

Yeah, color me surprised
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:23:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
The problem is there was so much heat about getting money to these people that the actual workers who processed the claims were told to process it, then later they would go after the frauds.

Basically the attitude was let the frauds get their money for fear of denying someone who was not a fraud and it be on the local news.




ding ding ding WINNER ding ding ding


There is no press report now that would hold a candle to the fuss there would have been when a large group of displaced people (carefully selected for maximum outrage/pity) were put on TV back then.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:35:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sgthoskins:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Does not surprise me one bit.



+1 I would have been surprised if they didn't find fraud in that shit hole.



Hey everyone - Medicaid/Medicare is the SAME way. Patient comes in, needs treatment for whatever, rattles off a SSN that is either fictitious (never issued), belongs to someone else, or doesn't even give one, and gets medical treatment.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:35:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FooBarBaz:
<libtard> Bush knew! </libtard>


Yup....



Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:38:19 AM EDT
Golly frigging gee. You think there is fraud? noo....tell us it ain't so. <extreme sarcasm>

Makes me want to work real hard for the Man, it does, to see my money pissed away like that.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:39:50 AM EDT
Imagine that, money fraud in our gov.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 7:39:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By spartacus2002:

Originally Posted By JoeWang:

Originally Posted By macman37:
I am shocked... sh*yawn*ocked, I tell you...



Yep.

Unfortunately I have to pay for it.

Bush is really twisting on this one. They burned "Brownie" and now he's returning the favor.



YEah, Brownie burned Chertoff pretty good yesterday; told Senators it was more efficient to go around his boss than thru him. OUCH!!!



Brown and Chertoff, especially Brown, are both incompetent fucksticks. He sounded like an ASS in those hearings.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:03:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By photokirk:
The idiots who chose not to get out of the way of a Cat. 5 storm are at fault. The corrupt Louisiana politicians that pissed away the money for improvents are at fault. The folks who see welfare and handouts as a way of life are at fault.



There we are........PROOF that photokirk is a Bush-Loving Bigoted Racist!

.........and I fully agree with him!
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:11:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:

Originally Posted By photokirk:
The idiots who chose not to get out of the way of a Cat. 5 storm are at fault. The corrupt Louisiana politicians that pissed away the money for improvents are at fault. The folks who see welfare and handouts as a way of life are at fault.



There we are........PROOF that photokirk is a Bush-Loving Bigoted Racist!

.........and I fully agree with him!



Racist or not, sometimes the truth hurts.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 8:12:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/11/2006 8:14:25 AM EDT by ICEAGE]
Its true, I live near an area hit by Rita, there was people standing in a line to get checks from FEMA, my friend was like "Hey , you see that tall guy there. He makes over 300k a year, his house wasnt even damaged".

And then my friend pointed out over 30 people that he knew for a fact didnt get ANY damages yet was standing in a line to get a check from FEMA for $2000.

Hell, we even saw a PREACHERS WIFE from a local church and some of their congragation getting money when they lived in a city that didnt get ANY damages.


I know of a case where a mans house didnt get any water damages so he took his water hose inside it for awhile. Now he has 3 campers for him and his family to live in for 18 months AND he has a check for $75,000 from FEMA.

I know people who's cars was damaged before the hurricane, they claimed they got damaged during so they'd get payed...

Even someones car that didnt run before the hurricane got money for it.



Many cases like this, sad thousands of people who did this will never get caught.



I could go on for hours about all the crooked people around here but I'll let off.
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 9:43:15 AM EDT
Not surprising.

But the libtards still want big government to create and run a socialized medicine system.

Can you imagine FEMA deciding who gets to have a bypass or cancer treatments?
Link Posted: 2/11/2006 3:10:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:

Originally Posted By photokirk:
The idiots who chose not to get out of the way of a Cat. 5 storm are at fault. The corrupt Louisiana politicians that pissed away the money for improvents are at fault. The folks who see welfare and handouts as a way of life are at fault.



There we are........PROOF that photokirk is a Bush-Loving Bigoted Racist!

.........and I fully agree with him!



It's Bush's fault that I'm this way. He set the hurricane machine on "bigot" and pointed it at me!!!



I was in (a bar in) Louisiana during the Edwards/Duke election. We sat with the locals and watched the returns come in. I asked one of them how you pick between a crook and a Klansman. He just held up his beer mug and said, "This helps."
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