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Aug. 16, 2010

WOMAN CHARGED IN FRAUD RELATED TO HURRICANE IKE

Indictment brings to 108 the total number of persons charged in the SDTX with defrauding the government through hurricane disaster relief programs

(HOUSTON) – Debra St. Cyr has been indicted for making a false claim for disaster relief following Hurricane Ike, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. St. Cyr, 50, was arrested last Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, at a relative’s Houston residence and has since been ordered released on bond pending trial following an appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Froeschner.  

St. Cyr, the 108th person charged in this district for allegedly defrauding the government through a hurricane disaster relief program, is charged in a one-count indictment with making a false claim for benefits to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. The indictment, returned on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010, alleges that shortly after Hurricane Ike made landfall in September 2008, St. Cyr filed a claim for disaster relief, misrepresenting her primary residence.  

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents with the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General.

This case was brought as part of this District’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the recent Gulf Oil Spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, you can contact the NCDF by either calling the hotline at (866) 720-5721, fadxing the hotline at (225) 334-4707, or emailing at disaster@leo.gov or in writing to National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA  70821-4909.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney F. Andino Reynal.

 

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