Houston Jury Convicts Galveston Man in FEMA Fraud Scheme
|Feb. 13, 2012|
HOUSTON - Patrick Adolf Prendergast Jr., 54, of Galveston, Texas, has been convicted for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) fraud, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. The jury returned its verdicts late Friday following approximately three hours of deliberation.
Prendergast was indicted in September 2011 for knowingly submitting a document containing a false statement in order to receive disaster relief payments following Hurricane Ike under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
During the five-day trial, the United States presented evidence from eight witnesses establishing that Prendergast submitted a FEMA Hurricane Ike claim on a house he did not actually own. As a result of the claim, Prendergast received approximately $14,000 from FEMA. Prendergast also received a $75,000 from the Community Development Block Grant to remodel the home, which belonged to his mother. The fraud was detected before the remodeling was complete. At trial, the defense failed to convince the jury that Prendergast did own the house and that it was all a mistake.
Prendergast has been in federal custody since his arrest on Sept. 21, 2011, where he will remain pending sentencing scheduled for May 4, 2012. At that time, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 30 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The investigation was conducted by FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys F. Andino Reynal and Craig Feazel.