Woman Charged with Disaster Relief Fraud Related to Hurricane Katrina
United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Cynthia D. Magee has been charged with fraudulently obtaining disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina. Magee is charged in a six-count indictment with making false statements to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and defrauding the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The indictment alleges that shortly after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, Magee, while in San Diego, submitted a claim for disaster relief to FEMA, in which she falsely stated that her primary residence was located at 1076 Foch Road, New Orleans, Louisiana. Subsequently, Magee improperly received more than $14,000 in FEMA benefits. The indictment also alleges that following Hurricane Katrina, Magee traveled throughout the Gulf Coast region in order to collect American Red Cross debit cards. Magee fraudulently obtained multiple disaster-relief debit cards by falsely claiming to reside at 6962 Foch Road, New Orleans, Louisiana, as well as at 103 Big Sky Drive, Gulfport, Mississippi. After amassing several disaster relief debit cards, Magee withdrew more than $5,000 in disaster assistance funds.
Magee is expected to make her initial appearance next week before a United States Magistrate Judge in San Diego, where the issue of bond will be addressed. The case will be prosecuted in federal district court in San Diego.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service.
This case was brought as part of this District’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 recent 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 the hotline at (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to email@example.com.
Cynthia D. Magee Age: 43 San Diego, CA
aka Cynthia Magee Turner, Cynthia D. Turner, Cynthia Turner
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 (False Statement): The maximum penalty for a violation 18 U.S.C. § 1001 is five years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than three years.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (Wire Fraud): The maximum penalty for a violation 18 U.S.C. § 1343 is 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not more than three years.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Postal Inspection Service
An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged.
The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.