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St. Thomas Man Indicted For Disaster Fraud After Falsely Claiming FEMA Relief Money

ARRESTED ON ST. THOMAS: TERON STEVENS

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A federal grand jury said Friday that it had enough evidence to try a St. Thomas man for allegedly falsely claiming about $27,000 in FEMA disaster relief aid, authorities said.

Teron Stevens, 27 of St. Thomas was indicted by a federal grand jury charging him with one count of Disaster Fraud and one count of Wire Fraud, in connection to Hurricane Irma Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief funds, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

According to the indictment, in September of 2017, Stevens applied to FEMA for disaster relief by falsely claiming to be a homeowner of a property damaged by Hurricane Irma.

As a result, Stevens received over $27,000 in FEMA assistance to which he was not entitled. If convicted, Stevens faces a maximum sentence of not more than 30 years in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

On September 6, 2017, Hurricane Irma struck the United States Virgin Islands.

In response, on September 7, 2017, President Donald J. Trump issued a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), for the Virgin Islands.

As a result of this declaration, FEMA was authorized to provide assistance to affected residents of St. Thomas and St. John through FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program.

This case is part of the United States Attorney’s Disaster Fraud Task Force, which was announced in October 2017.

Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721.

The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to
disaster@leo.gov

Learn more about the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud at http://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands since 1989. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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