published Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Public can report fraud related to storm relief

If people see fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of disaster relief in the wake of the April tornadoes, they can report it to the authorities through a federal program.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian cautioned residents to remain aware of potential fraud related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declaration for 10 East Tennessee counties.

People can report this to the National Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov.

“Federal disaster relief funds are to be used to help persons who have suffered harm and loss. We will aggressively prosecute anyone who tries to victimize these individuals a second time or attempts to defraud our taxpayers,” Killian said in a news release.

Fraud-related crimes carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, fines of more than $250,000 and restitution to the victims, according to the release.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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