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Scamming FEMA

Few things in life are more reliably entertaining than an after-action audit of how the Federal Emergency Management Agency spends its money in response to a natural disaster. Even when the agency is well-run, the need to act quickly to help legitimate victims leaves FEMA vulnerable to all kinds of penny-ante fraud. And nobody would accuse today’s FEMA of being well-run.

The Government Accountability Office just released a study estimating that fraudulent FEMA claims related to Hurricane Katrina could turn out to exceed $1 billion, representinting fully 16 percent of all money paid out to individuals and households. The most outrageous findings are below and on the following three pages. To read the GAO report in its entirety, click here.

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