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Press Release

Former Cedar Rapids Resident Sentenced For Defrauding FEMA

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A woman who lied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to get disaster benefits following the June 2008 Eastern Iowa flood was sentenced on January 16, 2013, to eighteen months in federal prison.

Emily Protsman, age 37, now of Coralville and formerly from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 30, 2012, guilty plea to one count of disaster benefits fraud.

At the October 30, 2012, guilty plea hearing, Protsman admitted that, on July 18, 2008, she submitted a fraudulent application to FEMA seeking benefits related to the June 2008 flood in Eastern Iowa. Protsman admitted she falsely claimed she lived at a specific residence in Cedar Rapids at the time of the flood and that her home and personal property were damaged. Protsman admitted that, at the time of the flood, she did not live at the residence identified in the application and Protsman’s home and personal property were not damaged.

Protsman was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Protsman was sentenced to eighteen months’ imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release. A special assessment of $100 was imposed, and she was ordered to make $8846.95 in restitution. There is no parole in the federal system.

Protsman was released on previously set conditions and is to surrender to the United States Marshal on February 20, 2013.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Court file information is available at The case file number is 12-62.

Updated February 19, 2015