Birmingham Man, Tarrant Woman Indicted Separately for Disaster Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 29, 2012|
BIRMINGHAM—A federal grand jury today indicted two individuals for fraudulently claiming disaster benefits following the April 27 tornadoes that struck Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and other parts of the state, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley, and Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge James E. Ward.
In separate indictments filed in U.S. District Court, MICHAEL JAMES CORBITT, of Birmingham, and KANDACE PROCTOR, of Tarrant, are charged with fraudulently representing their addresses on the day of the tornadoes in the applications for disaster benefits they submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Corbitt, 26, claimed he lived on Hibernian Street in Birmingham. Proctor, 23, claimed she lived on Pigeon Forge Drive in Tuscaloosa. Neither lived at the address they claimed. Both Corbitt and Proctor are also charged with making false claims to FEMA for temporary rental assistance, purportedly necessitated by the storm. Corbitt also is charged with making a false statement to FEMA about living in rental property in Fairfield following the April tornadoes.
The public can report fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the National Disaster Fraud Hotline, toll free, at 1-866-720-5721, or by e-mailing email@example.com. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The FBI and DHS-OIG investigated both cases.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.