Prosecutors Seek Leads in Hurricane Ida Fraud Cases | Pelican Post

Acting U.S. Attorney Ellison C. Travis and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry Urge Alleged Hurricane Ida Fraud Victims to File Complaints with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by phone at (866) 720-5721 or online at www.justice. gov / DisasterComplaintForm. Since the storm, numerous complaints have been filed regarding fraud by contractors, FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The NCDF is a national organization of law enforcement officers that detects, investigates and prosecutes those responsible for disaster fraud. The NCDF hotline receives complaints which are investigated by law enforcement and referred to federal, state and local agencies for investigation.

Acting US Attorney Travis said, “My office has zero tolerance for criminals who target disaster victims. By working with Attorney General Landry and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, we can protect Ida’s victims from criminals who, out of wanton greed, exploit this tragedy for their own benefit. Potential fraudsters should know that under federal law there is a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for those who commit disaster-related fraud. My office will continue to act aggressively to bring to justice those who could further harm the victims of Hurricane Ida and other disasters. After a storm, fraudulent contractors will target those affected by offering to make repairs quickly, while demanding payment before the work is completed. You can avoid being a victim by never paying a contractor for work that is not completed, by hiring well-known local contractors with a reputation for doing a good job, by having your claims adjuster to examine a contract before signing it, ask for proof of liability insurance and state licensure, and never pay in cash as this leaves no trace if an investigation is needed. Payment should only be made with a check or credit / debit card.

“Our office and the NCDF share a common goal of investigating, apprehending and aggressively prosecuting those who exploit the calamity for personal reward,” said Attorney General Landry. “We are united with our law enforcement partners to ensure that the victims of Hurricane Ida get the help they need and do not fall prey to another tragedy.”

If you have received a visit from a FEMA inspector or have received a letter from FEMA or SBA stating that you have applied for disaster assistance when you have not done so , you may be the victim of federal disaster assistance fraud. If this applies to you, it is important that you contact FEMA at 800-621-3362, or the SBA at 800-827-5722, to let them know that the request is fraudulent.

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