If you’ve suffered through a natural disaster, you might be familiar with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. This agency is meant to aid people who end up homeless or in need of money for disaster-related expenses directly following a flood, hurricane, or other catastrophe.
Some people take advantage of this emergency assistance program, which means they knowingly commit FEMA fraud. Whether you’ve been accused of committing disaster fraud yourself, or think you know someone who has, you can benefit from learning more about fraudulent FEMA claims.
What Is FEMA Fraud?
Simply put, anyone who intentionally lies on a FEMA application is committing FEMA fraud. Some examples of FEMA scams include filing a claim in someone else’s name or requesting aid to repair a house that was never damaged by a disaster.
FEMA fraud investigations are important because fraudulent FEMA claims take money away from people who really need it. For this reason, the consequences of FEMA fraud can be steep. If you’re convicted with this felony, you could go to prison for up to 30 years and be fined up to $250,000.
So, if you’ve been accused of disaster fraud, get help from a FEMA fraud defense attorney. For legal guidance from someone who knows FEMA case laws, including the FEMA fraud statute of limitations and possible defenses, contact The Law Offices of Kretzer and Volberding P.C. today.
How Does FEMA Fraud Reporting Work?
Once you know why disaster fraud is so detrimental, you will understand why FEMA whistleblowers report this type of suspected fraud.
So, how does FEMA fraud reporting work? You can start by contacting the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General when you call 800-323-8603. You can also fill out a fraud complaint at the Office of the Inspector General’s website. If you leave your contact information, you might get a call back from one of the officials assigned to FEMA fraud investigations. These officials might have more questions as they determine whether the claim you’re reporting was unfounded or legitimate. However, you can also report the fraud anonymously if you’d like.
How to Make Changes to Your FEMA Application
It’s not uncommon for people to start worrying about their FEMA application once they find out about how serious disaster fraud is. After all, you don’t want to face fines and prison time, especially if you never meant to defraud FEMA after going through a disaster.
If you’re unsure of whether or not you included the correct information, you might be wondering – can I edit my FEMA application?
The answer is yes.
The FEMA website tries to make it clear on how to make changes to your FEMA application, which you should do if you’re worried you were mistaken or not clear enough when you filled it out. The website also tells you how to cancel your FEMA application if you no longer need assistance. Just call the FEMA helpline at 800-621-3362 to cancel or edit your application, and then contact Houston criminal defense attorney Seth Kretzer if you have any concerns about FEMA fraud accusations.
If you’ve been accused of submitting one or more fraudulent FEMA claims, you could be facing a felony and time in prison if you’re convicted of this crime. You need legal representation from a lawyer who has experience defending Texas residents during FEMA fraud investigations.
If you’re ready to talk about your case, contact The Law Offices of Kretzer and Volberding P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.