An Atlantic City woman found guilty of stealing benefits from FEMA after a 2010 northeaster was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison.
Debbie Hicks, 52, had pleaded guilty to disaster benefits fraud in federal court in Camden, where she was sentenced, a statement by U. S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Hicks sought federal assistance because her apartment was damaged as a result of the storm in April 2010.
A FEMA inspector confirmed her occupancy and the damage to her rental unit and declared her apartment uninhabitable, Fishman said.
Hicks was awarded $923 per month for rental assistance from FEMA, but she also was receiving money for rent from the Atlantic County Department of Family and Community Development.
As a result, she received $15,691 in FEMA emergency rental assistance funds that she was not entitled to, Fishman’s statement said.
Hicks is also ordered to serve three years of supervised release in addition to paying back the money owed to FEMA plus $7,200 to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
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