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Press Release

Winter Garden Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding FEMA

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Keith A. Greenwood (49, Winter Garden) today pleaded guilty to wire fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 20, 2015.

According to the plea agreement, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began providing disaster assistance to individuals whose primary residences had been damaged by the hurricane. In November 2012, days after Hurricane Sandy struck New York City, Greenwood submitted an application for disaster assistance. In his paperwork, he falsely represented to FEMA that a property in Brooklyn, New York was his primary residence. The Brooklyn property was a building that Greenwood owned and rented to tenants. His true primary residence was in Winter Garden, Florida. Because his primary residence was not impacted by the hurricane, Greenwood was not entitled to the $17,385.73 in disaster assistance payments that FEMA awarded him based on his misrepresentations. On January 10, 2013, as part of an attempt to obtain another $5,000 in disaster assistance from FEMA, Greenwood faxed fake work receipts to FEMA that purported to be for repair work performed on the Brooklyn property. Ultimately, Greenwood admitted to investigators that he intentionally had told FEMA that the Brooklyn property was his primary residence, when he knew that his primary residence was in Florida.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the FEMA Fraud Prevention and Investigation Branch. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.

Updated February 5, 2015