The administration of De Blasio will pay more than $ 5 million after scamming FEMA with false claims of Superstorm Sandy


NOTNew York City will reimburse the federal government more than $ 5 million for its attempted fraud from the Federal Emergency Management Agency with misrepresentations submitted after Storm Storm Sandy in 2012, according to a settlement filed Wednesday in court Federal District of Manhattan.

US lawyer Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan said the incident was taking money, which FEMA should have been able to give to the "legitimate victims of the desperately needed disaster". Instead, municipal officials of the administration of the mayor Democrat Bill de Blasio tried to claim millions of dollars that the city was not eligible to receive.

The city told FEMA in May 2014 that it had lost 132 Ministry of Transportation vehicles as a result of the storm and asked to be reimbursed $ 4.13 million by the Department of Homeland Security for replacements. But the federal government learned that many passenger, utility and heavy passenger vehicles had been damaged or found unusable before Sandy reached New York.

"Many of the vehicles for which the City was seeking to cover all replacement costs were neither operational nor used before the storm," according to the US District Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York. "As a result of these false certifications, FEMA paid the city millions of dollars to which it was not entitled."

New York City officials admitted to wrongfully claiming $ 4.13 million in damages and agreed to waive the $ 1.18 million additional FEMA-approved fee for Berman's office in New York City. A press release. New York also withdrew $ 3.20 million in additional claims after recognizing that these claims were not legitimate.

A federal judge will have to approve the settlement.

Since then, the city has appointed a new compliance officer and set up a new system to track its thousands of urban vehicles.

A spokesman for the city's transport department said the city had cooperated with the US prosecutor's office after being contacted in 2016 about his claim.

"In 2016, South District US counsel informed DOT that the agency's claims to FEMA included damaged vehicles that may not be eligible for a refund." We fully cooperated at the subsequent review and worked together to reach an amicable settlement. "Spokesman Scott Gastel said in a statement.


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