New Orleans Man Sentenced For FEMA Fraud
Summers Stole over $24,000 Falsely Claiming to Be Katrina Victim
ATLANTA, GA - DEAN G. SUMMERS, 40, of New Orleans, Louisiana, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. to serve over 2 years in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining FEMA assistance funds intended for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “FEMA fraud steals money from disaster victims who have suffered devastation and tragedy. This defendant falsely claimed to be a victim of Hurricane Katrina, and then perpetuated that lie for years with forged documents and false statements, so that he would continue receiving disaster assistance he had no right to receive.”
James E. Ward, Special Agent in Charge for the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, said, “We all suffer when federal programs are undermined by fraud. Today's sentencing should send a clear message that we intend to stop these types of fraudulent practices. The Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General is dedicated towards investigating fraud related to DHS programs, specifically FEMA Emergency Disaster Relief Funds. The defendant serves as an example of our commitment to investigating FEMA fraud allegations and pursuing federal prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. DHS-OIG places a high priority on the investigation of these types of crimes that negatively impact our federal system and programs, which are intended for law abiding citizens.”
SUMMERS was sentenced to 2 years, 2 months in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $24,886 in restitution. SUMMERS was convicted of these charges on November 8, 2011 after pleading guilty.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: In September 2005, SUMMERS filed an application with FEMA for Hurricane Katrina assistance, falsely claiming that he was living in New Orleans at the time of the hurricane and had been displaced, when in truth he had moved to Georgia before the hurricane. In his application, he further claimed falsely that he had relocated to an apartment in College Park, Georgia and needed rental assistance. SUMMERS submitted a fake lease and forged rental receipts to FEMA in support of his claim. He also obtained a Louisiana identification card after the hurricane to present to FEMA when questioned about his claim’s validity. SUMMERS continued to submit false documents, make false statements, and pursue payments from FEMA through August 2009. He received over $24,000 in disaster assistance from FEMA based on his fraud.
In September 2005, the Attorney General created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud and insurance fraud. The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force – chaired by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division – includes members from the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the Postal Inspector’s Office and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys, among others.
This case was investigated by Special Agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephen H. McClain prosecuted the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.