Staten Island Resident Pleads Guilty to Disaster Relief Fraud
Defendant Fraudulently Obtained More Than $750,000 from Relief Programs Intended for New York City Residents Displaced by Hurricane Sandy
Earlier today, Nagwa Elsilimy pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to disaster relief fraud in connection with obtaining more than $750,000 in disaster relief from New York City’s Build It Back program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Today’s proceeding took place before United States District Judge Raymond J. Dearie.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General (HUD OIG); Mark Tasky, Special Agent-in-Charge, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Washington Field Office (DHS OIG); and Mark G. Peters, Commissioner, New York City Department of Investigation, announced the guilty plea.
According to court filings and facts presented during the guilty plea proceeding, in the days and months following Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York and New Jersey on October 29, 2012, Elsilimy obtained and attempted to obtain federal funds appropriated for Sandy disaster relief by submitting material misrepresentations in her applications for relief. Specifically, Elsilimy misrepresented that a home in Staten Island, which her family had abandoned months before the storm, was her primary residence at the time the hurricane devastated parts of New York and New Jersey. In fact, she had been residing at a different address since at least March 2012. Evidence obtained in the investigation established that Elsilimy fraudulently obtained federal and city aid totaling more than $750,000.
When sentenced, Elsilimy faces up to 30 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to $1,500,000.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Losey Macchiaverna is in charge of the prosecution.
Staten Island, NY
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-563