Woman and daughter lived in Brooklyn Park but received federal disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina.
A 62-year-old woman was sentenced to probation Monday for stealing $8,600 in Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.
She tricked federal officials into paying her and her daughter tens of thousands of dollars by saying they lived in Louisiana and suffered property damage from Katrina in 2005, when they actually lived in government-subsidized housing in Brooklyn Park.
Rena McCarter, now of Kenner, La., was sentenced in federal court in St. Paul to three years’ probation and also was ordered to serve 50 hours of community service and pay back the full amount in restitution. McCarter pleaded guilty in October to one count of theft from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In her plea agreement, McCarter admitted that on Sept. 16, 2005, she told FEMA that she lived in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, that her apartment and personal property had been damaged by the disaster, and that she needed emergency assistance for housing, food, and clothing.
In fact, she was living in housing with her mother that was subsidized by the Metropolitan Council from October 2004 through November 2009.
On June 23, 2008, McCarter faxed a fraudulent application to FEMA requesting disaster relocation assistance. Based on McCarter’s fraudulent application, FEMA gave her a $1,458 grant. In total, McCarter received $8,600 in disaster aid from FEMA.
Last month, daughter Vianca McCarter, 30, and also now living in Kenner, was sentenced to five years’ probation for her role in the fraud. She also must pay $33,502 in restitution and serve 100 hours of community service.
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