BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has arrested two women for fraud following the devastating floods last year, and he is issuing a stern message for any would-be criminals thinking about doing the same after this week’s tornadoes.
“Disaster assistance, like any other form of government aid, is a precious resource reserved for those in need; people who jeopardize the programs by attempting to take advantage of taxpayers will be brought to justice,” warned General Landry. “Our office will continue to pursue anyone who may have defrauded the government following last year’s floods and this week’s tornadoes.”
“Through collaboration with our local, state, and federal partners – we have arrested Kimberly Cage and Leslie Munoz Licona for fraudulently receiving FEMA funding,” added General Landry. “Criminals who steal much-needed services and resources from our State’s vulnerable will be uncovered, investigated, and arrested.”
Cage, 37 of Baton Rouge, was arrested for Theft over $25,000 and Filing or maintaining false public records. Cage allegedly fraudulently applied for FEMA disaster assistance by providing false information. She received $29,898.90 from FEMA for home repairs, personal property, and rental assistance. It was later discovered Cage was not entitled to rental assistance since she did not reside in the residence she claimed, nor was she entitled to personal property or home repair because the home was classified as a rental property. She was arrested by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation and booked into the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.
Licona, 32 of Baton Rouge, was arrested for Theft over $750 but less than $5,000 and Filing or maintaining false public records. Munoz allegedly claimed her residence flooded and applied for FEMA assistance. She then received $1,648.00 for rental assistance and it was later discovered that she did not reside in that residence at the time of the flood and falsely claimed it as her primary residence. She was arrested by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation and booked into the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.
The cases were initiated as part of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) – a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the Gulf oil spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations – you can contact the NCDF by calling 866-720-5721, faxing 225-334-4707, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or writing National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.