United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory
Eastern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: DAVILYN WALSTON
FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2008 PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe PHONE: (409) 553-9881
SILSBEE MAN SENTENCED FOR HURRICANE FRAUD
BEAUMONT TX – United States Attorney Rebecca A. Gregory announced that a 24-year-old Silsbee man has been sentenced to 6 months in federal prison for hurricane related fraud in the Eastern District of Texas.
CHARLIE MONROE REID, Jr., pleaded guilty on January 22, 2008 to making a materially false statement to FEMA in connection with applications he filed for federal disaster relief. He was sentenced today by United States District Judge Marcia A. Crone. Reid was also ordered to pay $2,000.00 in restitution.
According to information presented in court, on October 2, 2005, Reid applied for FEMA disaster-related benefits, falsely claiming that a mobile home in Kountze, Texas, was his primary residence. In fact, as federal authorities with FEMA and the U.S. Postal Service later discovered, the mobile home actually belonged to a friend of an acquaintance of Reid's. In the month prior to Hurricane Rita, the homeowner had allowed Reid to temporarily stay at the mobile home. Reid and the homeowner evacuated, separately, prior to Hurricane Rita. While the homeowner was evacuated from the area, Reid broke into the mobile home and looted the homeowner's personal belongings. Additionally, Reid's false claim delayed the homeowner in obtaining FEMA funds. As a result of Reid's fraud and false claim, Reid received $2,000 in disaster assistance from FEMA to which he was not entitled.
In September 2005, the Attorney General's Office 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 Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division – includes members of the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, among others.
This case is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall L. Fluke.
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