South Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Flood Disaster Aid Money
65-year-old Joe W. Jones, of Baton Rouge, submitted a guilty plea on theft charges levied against him for stealing government funds totaling $13,806 from FEMA. Just to be clear, these funds are used in emergencies like major flooding and damage from mega storms like Harvey, Irma, Maria, Katrina, Ike, etc.
According to US News and World Report, Joe filed fraudulent claims about damage incurred during last year’s flooding near Baton Rouge. That flooding damaged property in 12 South Louisiana parishes in 2016 – including a house owned by Jones. The charges claim that Mr. Jones filed for disaster assistance even though he was not living in the house at the time. Not only was Joe living in a completely different (completely dry) house in another state at the time, he was renting the house in question at the time to a resident that had his application for assistance delayed! The kicker is, the resident’s claim was delayed because a claim already existed – Joe’s fraudulent claim kept some one who needed help from getting it!
Mr. Jones will be sentenced shortly.