FEMA Fraud - Gainesville Man Indicted

The following is a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office:


(Sherman, Texas) - United States Attorney Matthew D. Orwig announced today that a 34-year-old Gainesville man has been indicted for hurricane related fraud in the Eastern District of Texas. A federal grand jury returned the two-count indictment charging DUANE RAY CLARK with making false claims and false statements in an application with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for disaster assistance.

U.S. Attorney Orwig said he remained adamant in prosecuting those responsible for disaster relief fraud, “Disaster assistance agencies, such as FEMA, have been looted by greedy individuals trying to make a quick-buck. We will continue to investigate and prosecute reports of fraud.”

According to information contained in the indictment, Clark filed false applications with FEMA for Disaster Housing Assistance and Individual Assistance claiming to have suffered damages during Hurricane Katrina. As a result of those claims, Clark received disaster assistance in the amount of $12,095.

If convicted, Clark faces up to five years in federal prison and a $250,000. It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of either guilt or innocence.

In September 2005, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created the Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force, designed to deter, investigate and prosecute disaster-related federal crimes such as charity fraud, identity theft, procurement fraud and insurance fraud. The Hurricane Katrina Fraud Task Force – chaired by Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division – includes the FBI, the U.S. Inspectors General community, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Executive Office for United States Attorney, and others.

This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Blake.