A Tangipahoa Parish woman is accused of making $150,000 worth of fake claims for assistance after the August 2016 flood.
A federal grand jury indicted Renata Foreman, 37, of Independence, on six counts of wire fraud and identity theft, according to a news release from Corey Amundson, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana.
The release claims Foreman stole 62 identities — names, birth dates, social security numbers — and used them to file 55 false claims for disaster unemployment assistance. The relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency is for people who became unemployed due to the flood.
Foreman has been accused of similar crimes previously. In October 2013, she pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Louisiana to fraudulently collecting thousands of dollars in federal financial aid refunds and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
Amundson said in a statement that he is committed to prosecuting people who try to take advantage of natural disasters for their own gain.
"No matter what storm or disaster we face next, natural or man-made, we will continue to identify, arrest and prosecute fraudsters who are taking advantage of and exploiting vulnerable people who have been affected by these devastating natural disasters," he said.
Anyone who suspects fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement in disaster relief operations is encouraged to call the National Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.