Decatur Man Indicted for Disaster Fraud
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Decatur man for fraudulently claiming disaster benefits following the April 27, 2011, tornadoes that struck North Alabama, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley and Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge James E. Ward announced.
An indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges TRACY DWAYNE WHITTLE, 40, with making a fraudulent representation to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an application for disaster benefits concerning his place of residence on the day of the tornadoes. Whittle falsely claimed that he rented a dwelling in Hartselle that had been damaged by the storm.
The public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the National Disaster Fraud Hotline, toll free, at 1-866-720-5721, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The FBI and DHS-OIG investigated both cases.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
If you believe your organization has expertise or resources that could improve outcomes for ex-offenders re-entering society, please e-mail our Community Outreach Coordinator at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov
or call 205-244-2019.