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Peter Paton

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US Storm Fraudsters Paid $1.4bn'
By Peter Paton   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Posted: Wednesday, June 14, 2006

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'US Storm Fraudsters Paid $1.4bn'

'US storm Fraudsters paid $1.4bn'


Residents in New Orleans' 9th Ward in September 2005
More than 80% of New Orleans was flooded when Katrina hit
The US government gave up to $1.4bn in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year, congressional inspectors have found.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was tricked into funding hundreds of fraudulent schemes, the report said.

Money was spent on American football tickets, a holiday, a divorce lawyer and a sex change operation, it said.

The agency has acknowledged mistakes, but says it has only found evidence of fraud worth $16m.

More than 1,300 people died when Hurricane Katrina swept across five states last August and more than three-quarters of New Orleans was flooded.

Rita also wrought extensive damage after hitting Texas and Louisiana in late September.

'Cemetery' claimant

Debit cards handed out by Fema to people displaced by the storms bought diamond jewellery, champagne and erotic videos, the congressional audit discovered.

Investigators also found hundreds of claims from false addresses and rental assistance paid to prisoners.

A supposed victim who used a New Orleans cemetery for a home address and a person who spent 70 days at a Hawaiian hotel were among the claimants, the report said.

The chairman of the House of Representatives subcommittee overseeing the investigation called the bogus spending "an assault on the American taxpayer."

"Prosecutors from the federal level down should be looking at prosecuting these crimes and putting the criminals who committed them in jail for a long time," Michael McCaul said.

Fema officials said the agency was serious about ensuring that public money is spent wisely.

Spokesman Aaron Walker said Fema had "revamped the registration process" and had a contract with a company that would verify immediately the identity and address of anyone for assistance.

"We are confident in the system we have in place at this point," Mr Walker said. "We are prepared for the upcoming season."

Web Site: 'US Storm Fraudsters Paid $1.4bn'

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Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher 6/16/2006
Something like this was to be expected, one should think. There are always those who are out for profit without care for anything else.
(What took 'em so long to see it?)
Reviewed by Rhonda Galizia 6/14/2006
It's a disgrace, to be sure.........there's no accountability, when everybody is trying to be a pleaser, a facilitator. Political correctness has become an amoral illness in my beloved America...
Jerry and Ed, I salute you guys for your integrity. And Peter, as always, I salute you for bringing the hard stuff to the attention of the people. Be SAFE out there! my love & prayers go with you ~ rhonda
Reviewed by - - - - - TRASK 6/14/2006
You Don't Have To Ask--SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW IN F--KED Up USA...

But Then There Is Peter Openen Urine Eyes...

Reviewed by Crystal Silver Angel (Reader) 6/14/2006
((((((( Peter ))))))))

I heard this on the news today…Beurocracy runs wild. Where there is humans, the opportunity for mistakes is often over looked.. You can bet come 08’’ election, that a voice is going to heard in Washington big, big time BIG TIME.. Solid grass roots forming now... It can’t and won’t stop the voters for voting their consciousness.. When I heard what the $2,000 debit cards were spent on, I got steamed…Those people were spending it on tropical vacations and many more luxuries while other victims of the disaster were canned..!!!! One thing I am hopeful is the next disaster we will not handle it like Katrina with those precious souls in New Orleans. God, that was pitiful…..Yet God placed spiritual revival there, so maybe it just was destined.. Let’s hope nothing like that happens again. Let other ways of spiritual revival come without such intensity of suffering.. God gave us more dignity than that. New Orleans has adopted a better strategy with FEMA and their levy is almost completed.…Let us keep praying for the infastructor and people still affected by the disasters. I pray we have a better coordinated effort to be a better U.S … Let us pray those that may be affected by natural disasters in the future in the U.S next time will get the help they really need and fair towards them and us tax payers. The U.S government is as usual broke and needs to have a serious rehabilitation. The most civilized country in the world has to have a better plan in place to be the powerful government it’s called to be. I am sure Washington winked more than an eye today, and people are steamed, STEAMED mad … I picture these government agencies so dysfunctional, and they keep trying to branch new forms of government offices… We do not need more government waste…It will and is all about partisan difference. Constantly blaming each others party for the pit falls of just plain dumb errors of the FEMA.. Let us keep praying for the government, that they put the gimmicks and bad policy aside. Prayer is what my number one mission is on this planet and God knows we need it.. Let’s keep interceding for justice and peace. Dove medicine..Peter, continue your efforts of your social causes.Thank you..

Peace & Love,
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 6/14/2006
Yup. The media AND the damn politicians had FEMA so scared they would have given money to anybody. Come to think of it, they did. Shameful. I had a neighbor tell me to go down to where FEMA had set up shop where I live and get some of that free money. I told her that I had nothing to ask for because nothing of mine was damaged. She looked at me like I was the biggest idiot in Louisiana. Even so, my momma did not raise me that way and I am too damn old to start now.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 6/14/2006
The agency has acknowledged mistakes, but says it has only found evidence of fraud worth $16million.

Having journeyed to the Gulf four times since Katrina, I know it's far higher than $16 million, but in my opinion, even $1.00 in fraud concerning a national disaster such as this, is too damned much.

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