BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man has pleaded guilty to stealing $26,362 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds following last year's flooding, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said in a news release that Courtney D. Hickman, 42, entered a plea of guilty to theft of government funds on October 12. Hickman filed a fraudulent claim with FEMA for disaster assistance funds for Baton Rouge he claimed was his primary residence at the time of the flood, according to documents submitted to the court. Amundson says that at the time of the flood, Hickman was actually living somewhere else and was renting the property in question to a tenant for four months before and during the flood.
Amundson, who is also the acting Executive Director of the National Center for Disaster Fraud, issued a statement saying,
Anyone who suspects fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll-free at (866) 720-5721 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.