Feds Charge 2 Florida Women with Hurricane Irma Disaster Assistance Fraud

January 21, 2020

Two Florida women have been accused of lying about damage caused by Hurricane Irma in separate cases, federal prosecutors announced last week.

Indictments were returned charging Bernita Willette Carswell, 36, of Jacksonville, and Deannajo White, 39, Suwannee County, with disaster assistance fraud. They each face up to 30 years in federal prison.

Both women falsified records concerning their primary residences when submitting applications for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to indictments.

Hurricane Irma struck Florida in September 2017, causing about $50 billion in damage throughout the state.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida is prosecuting the cases.

A telephone message seeking comment from the Federal Public Defender, which is representing both women, wasn’t immediately returned.

Topics Florida Catastrophe Natural Disasters Fraud Hurricane

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