BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Officials said two women suspected of fraud related to the August floods are facing charges and the attorney general is warning anyone thinking about trying to get undeserving compensation following this week's tornadoes.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Kimberly Cage, 37, and Leslie Licona, 32, both of Baton Rouge, are accused of "fraudulently receiving FEMA funding."
The AG's office reported Cage applied for FEMA disaster assistance by providing false information and received nearly $30,000 from FEMA for repairs, rental assistance and other services. Officials said they later learned the home was classified as a rental property and she didn't live where she claimed. She is charged with theft over $25,000 and filing or maintaining false public records.
The AG's office stated Licona claimed the place where she was living flooded and received $1,648 from FEMA for rental assistance. She didn't live at that location at the time of the flood and lied about it being her primary residence, according to investigators. She is charged with theft over $750 but less than $5,000 and filing or maintaining false public records.
Both were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and have been released after posting bond.
"Disaster assistance, like any other form of government aid, is a precious resource reserved for those in need; people who jeopardize the programs by attempting to take advantage of taxpayers will be brought to justice," Landry said in a written release. "Our office will continue to pursue anyone who may have defrauded the government following last year's floods and this week's tornadoes."
Anyone with information about someone possibly committing fraud is asked to call the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) at 866-720-5721 or sending an email to email@example.com.