View Full Version : OKC Man sentenced for FEMA fraud

08-03-2007, 10:51 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal judge sentences an Oklahoma City man to 16 months in federal prison for making false statements to collect disaster benefits following Hurricane Katrina.

Darryl Eugene Hayes is already serving a four-year term in state prison for possessing crack cocaine. He was sentenced in August 2006.

The 40-year-old Hayes unsuccessfully lobbied U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton to run the two sentences concurrently, so his punishment in the fraud case won't begin until he finishes his stint in state prison.

Hayes pleaded guilty to the federal charge in April.

He claimed he had been living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit and applied for disaster benefits in October 2005.

Court papers show he received more than $12,000 in aid.

08-03-2007, 11:06 AM
Good, what a horrible thing for him to do. I was between jobs in ATX when the Katrina folks came to Austin, so I was working temporarily in a jewelry store. You would not believe how much of that money went for stupid, overpriced jewelry and watches. Now I do realize that they lost everything, and watches and jewelry needed to be replaced as well, however many of the people I sold to readily admitted they'd never had any of these things before and were using their debit cards to buy extravagant items. It was a shame but there was nothing I could do, the debit cards could be used anywhere and there were no restrictions on them.

08-03-2007, 11:20 AM
Yep....I think that will make it all the more difficult for people in need to acquire help, again.

They have the receipts for what those debit cards purchased. Alcohol, Strip sons, who spent 6 months in New Orleans cleaning up, told of tales of people buying 2 and 3 VCR's with the cards and more stuff. (several TV's....computers.....etc...) Kids without proper clothing on and the shopping carts filled with electronics. Families living in tents with no electricity but had TV's and VCR's.

My 2 sons came back very altered men. It was entirely overwhelming to view and live within all of the devastation.

I think that FEMA should have set the cards, specifically, for food, shelter and clothing. When the Red Cross gives a stipend for victims, it is generally to a specific store. I understand that it was a quick response from FEMA, who were under a lot of pressure to "do something".

Most of the people were extremely destitute to begin with, but handing over the funds should have been regulated.

Of course, the Federal Gov, States & Cities should have an emergency plan in place prior to an emergency.

All in all....that was a most horrific tragedy upon tragedy.

I would hope that we have been educated, since. But I fear that we have not.