Red Cross Probes Post-Katrina Fraud

3-25-06 - The Red Cross said Friday it is "aggressively investigating" allegations brought by volunteers of outright criminal activity during Katrina. Former Red Cross volunteer and attorney Jerome Nickerson wrote a blistering investigative report made public Friday.

Nickerson said he found widespread evidence of theft and fraud, including a veritable black market of disaster relief goods operating out of New Orleans with the knowledge of some Red Cross supervisors.

Red Cross managers, Nickerson said, "...were definitely protecting individuals that were engaged in diverting Red Cross supplies, it was absolutely unmistakable. I mean we reported it to the FBI, I reported it to the FBI, I reported it to homeland security."

Two presidents of the Red Cross have resigned in a little more than four years. Both resignations came after clashes with the board of governors on the tail of major disasters: Dr. Bernadine Healy stepped down shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and, more recently, Marsha Evans quit following Hurricane Katrina.