United States Attorney Chuck Rosenberg announced the filing of criminal charges against Clifford Neville, 53, of Houston, Texas, for reportedly filing false claims for emergency disaster funds with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 287.
After receiving a tip that Neville had filed a false claim for FEMA assistance, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General initiated an investigation that reportedly found that Neville had filed two claims.
Neville filed the first claim seeking Hurricane Katrina disaster assistance with FEMA on Sept. 9, 2005. The claim listed his primary residence as Louis XIV Street in New Orleans. On Oct. 1, 2005, Neville filed a second claim with FEMA for Hurricane Katrina disaster assistance. The second claim listed the same primary residence of Louis XIV Street in New Orleans. The charges allege that Neville did not reside on Louis XIV Street in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck.
Each claim is charged as a separate violation of federal law, and upon conviction carries a punishment range of up to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
Neville will be ordered to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge for arraignment on a date in the near future.
The filing of these charges brings the number of persons charged with filing false claims for hurricane emergency funds with FEMA in the Southern District of Texas to six.