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False FEMA filing: How the agency plans to take action against fraud

As the Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to sort through applications they're warning scammers of the consequences of fraudulent claims
Posted at 10:32 PM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 22:32:18-04
  • FEMA has received over 100,000 applications across Michigan for financial assistance as they recover from the 2023 storms
  • Town halls across our neighborhoods have be held to allow residents to apply and check on their application status
  • In the attached video, we spoke to Patrick Boland with FEMA as he warned people to not attempt to make fraudulent claims on the application

    "If you apply for FEMA Assistance and purposely claim disaster damage that never happened, you

    may be charged with a serious crime.

    FEMA must make sure taxpayer dollars go only to Michigan homeowners and renters in Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Kent,

    Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne counties who suffered genuine loss caused by the Aug. 24-26,

    2023, severe storms, tornadoes and flooding. The agency takes payment of funds to the true survivors very


    Those who are caught filing a false application for FEMA assistance can be charged with a felony and, if convicted,

    face a maximum 30-year prison term and up to $250,000 in fines.

    Any applicant who has made a mistake when reporting damage or has misrepresented losses may correct or cancel

    their claim. Individuals need to call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 to withdraw or correct an application and

    prevent prosecution. The helpline accepts calls seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. If you use a relay service

    such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others, give FEMA the number for that service.

    If you know of someone who is filing a fraudulent application, report this or other instances of fraud, waste or abuse."

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)
As FEMA continues their tour of Mid Michigan... Concerns of false filing are being raised.

With an extended deadline of May 8th.... FEMA has received over 100,000 applications from the state of Michigan from residents looking for federal funding as they recover from the August 2023 storms

FEMA says while majority of the received applications have been confirmed to be accurate by one of the nearly 150 inspectors across the state; Some of the applications have been proven untrue and the agency wants to reiterate the consequences of fraud

"The criminal things that are happening that's just the nature of the world we see that happen but FEMA audits everybody's assistance and makes sure people are using the money for what its being provided for. You don't want to get assistance for your home and go out and buy a car that wouldn't be appropriate would it?" said Patrick Boland, FEMA media relations specialist.

Anyone who is caught filling a false fema assistance application can be charged with a felony and if convicted could face a max of 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Residents who have submitted a claim and feel they may have made a mistake on their application are urged to call the FEMA helpline as soon as possible to withdraw or correct their application.

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