News and Press Releases

Olive Branch Man Pleads Guilty to
Making False Statements to FEMA

May 17, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – Felicia C. Adams, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, and James E. Ward, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General announced that:

Richard C. (“Chris”) Ungren, 38, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, pled guilty today before United States Chief District Judge Michael P. Mills, in Oxford, Mississippi. Ungren pled guilty to count one of an indictment, charging him with making a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in an application for benefits following the Mississippi River flood in May 2011.

Ungren was released on a pre-existing bond pending sentencing, which will take place following the completion of a presentence report. At sentencing, he faces a maximum possible penalty of thirty years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and five years supervised release.

James E. Ward, Special Agent in Charge for the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General stated:

“The Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General is dedicated to investigating fraud related to DHS programs, specifically FEMA Emergency Disaster Relief Funds. The guilty plea by this 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, which negatively impact our federal system and programs that are intended for law abiding citizens.”

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Mims and John Marshall Alexander.

Anyone who has knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations may contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at (866) 720-5721. Information can also be sent by fax to (225) 334-4707, by e-mail to or by writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909. Calls can be made anonymously and confidentially.



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