News and Press Releases

Tuscaloosa Woman Indicted for Falsely Claiming Disaster Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2012

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted a Tuscaloosa woman for fraudulently claiming disaster benefits following the April 27, 2011, tornadoes that struck Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and other parts of the state, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and James E. Ward, special agent in charge, Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General.

GLORIA L. MCCOY, 32, is charged with making fraudulent representations to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an application for disaster benefits about her place of residence on the day of the tornadoes. The five-count indictment charges that McCoy lied about living in an apartment damaged by a tornado, and that she followed the initial false claim with several others to FEMA seeking additional rental assistance in the months following the tornadoes.

McCoy is expected to be arraigned in mid-October.

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 disaster@leo.gov. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
DHS-OIG investigated the case.

Members of the public are reminded that the 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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