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Oct. 1, 2009

GALVESTON MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HURRICANE IKE FRAUD

(HOUSTON) - David F. Morgan, 51, of Galveston, has pleaded guilty to filing a false claim for disaster assistance in connection with Hurricane Ike, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Morgan is the second person in the district to be found guilty for fraud related to Hurricane Ike.  

At the guilty plea this afternoon before United States District Judge Gray Miller, Morgan admitted that on Sept. 18, 2008, five days after Hurricane Ike made landfall, he filed a claim with FEMA for Ike disaster assistance using a Social Security Number one digit off his own and listing a damaged address in Galveston that did not exist. Morgan had previously filed a legitimate disaster assistance claim using his true Social Security number and damaged address and his second application was made in an effort to obtain additional funds. He obtained $5,893 as a result of his fraudulent claim. 

Morgan will be sentenced by Judge Miller on Dec. 18, 2009, at 10:15 a.m., at which time he faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine under the Emergency Disaster Assistance Fraud Penalty Enhancement Act of 2007 (18 U.S.C. §1040) which was enacted in January 2008 in response to the fraud and abuse following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Varnado.

 

 

 

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