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Press Release

Schoharie Man Admits To Defrauding FEMA

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

LBANY, NEW YORK – Scott A. Clapper, Jr., age 31, of Schoharie, pleaded guilty today to 13 felony counts of making false statements and submitting false documents in connection with government benefits he received following Hurricane Irene.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Edward Nasiatka, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, New York Field Office. 

Clapper made false statements and submitted false documents to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) following Hurricane Irene, which struck New York in August 2011 and made uninhabitable the Schoharie County home in which Clapper was living at the time. 

Clapper told FEMA that his monthly rent at his new home, in Westerlo, was $1,200, when it was really $500.   In an effort to document the $1,200 monthly rent, Clapper also submitted to FEMA fake lease agreements and rent receipts containing the forged signature of his landlord.  Clapper received $16,426 from FEMA as a result of these falsehoods.

Clapper faces a maximum imprisonment term of 30 years and a maximum fine of $250,000 when he is sentenced on May 9, 2016 by Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

This case was investigated by the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Barnett.

Updated February 4, 2016