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FBI Uncovers Post-Katrina Fraud (Surprise, surprise)
ABC News ^ | January 23, 2006 | HOLBROOK MOHR

Posted on 01/24/2006 6:34:30 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger

JACKSON, Miss. Jan 23, 2006 — The FBI has uncovered fraud by public officials in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and has created a task force to investigate corruption as federal money pours into the Gulf Coast region, Mississippi's top agent said Monday.

"We are seeing public officials facilitating some of the fraud," John G. Raucci, agent in charge in Mississippi, said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's not widespread, I will say that, but we have seen it and we have begun addressing it."

Raucci would not give details.

Sheila Thorne, an FBI agent in Louisiana, said the bureau has set up task forces in each of that state's three districts to deal with hurricane-related fraud. "As allegations come in, they will be investigated," Thorne said in a separate interview.

Thorne said agents are looking at all levels of fraud in Louisiana, including public corruption.

Federal money has been pumped at an unprecedented rate into the gulf states since Katrina struck on Aug. 29, and Louisiana and Mississippi are set to receive billions in aid.

"So if a person was predisposed … to commit an act of public corruption, this will be the time when he or she can dig their hand into the public trough," Raucci said.

Raucci said there is low-level fraud occurring, including some people misrepresenting their identities to receive federal aid, and more sophisticated scams as well.

He said there will be indictments in the fraud cases, but could not say when or how many.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; US: Louisiana; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: corruption; fbi; fraud; hurricane; katrina; katrinafraud
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What about all those missing policemen who sources say never actually existed?

I'm expecting a lot of indictments. Well, that's saying too much. I'm hoping for a lot of indictments.

1 posted on 01/24/2006 6:34:34 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Emergency federal funds following a natural disaster +
New Orleans.

And now they say there was some corruption??

Gosh, knock me over with a feather.

I'm shocked, I tell ya. Shocked.

2 posted on 01/24/2006 6:37:48 AM PST by Allegra (Every Day is One of Those Days)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

BTTT


3 posted on 01/24/2006 6:42:08 AM PST by Fiddlstix (Tagline Repair Service. Let us fix those broken Taglines. Inquire within(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Not to woorry. No high level politicos will ever get charged.

That's the way politics works.


4 posted on 01/24/2006 6:43:16 AM PST by Pessimist
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To: DaveLoneRanger; Txsleuth; Howlin

Who here is surprised at this news???

I know I'm not


5 posted on 01/24/2006 6:45:13 AM PST by Mo1 (Republicans protect Americans from Terrorists.. Democrats protect Terrorists from Americans)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Gambling? At Ricks?

L

6 posted on 01/24/2006 6:46:39 AM PST by Lurker (You don't let a pack of wolves into the house just because they're related to the family dog.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
What about all those missing policemen who sources say never actually existed?

Haven't you heard? Ray Naginhead says the phantom police were part of the plan!

Like, tell the criminals you have a lot of cops only you don't. Only the criminals don't know that so they are scared.

What happened to the Clinton money spread about so handily to shore up local police depts? Funny you should ask.

Naginhead says it went to update computers and such, the things that go out on the street to catch the criminals.

Seriously, I don't think the announcement was made willy nilly. Some bigwigs got their hand caught in the till is what I think and frankly I believe Naginhead's right in the thick of it.

7 posted on 01/24/2006 6:46:54 AM PST by Fishtalk
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To: DaveLoneRanger
the government is handing out free money, and the MSM is surprised that it attracted buzzards? puh-leeeaaase.
8 posted on 01/24/2006 6:49:57 AM PST by smonk
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Yes, I'm thinking, why is this on ABC news? Well, it's a lead-in for further publicity, that's why.

There are two possible outcomes in the MSM:

1. Trail of corruption ultimately leads to the White House.
2. FBI itself is corrupt and under control of the White House.

9 posted on 01/24/2006 6:51:10 AM PST by LurkedLongEnough
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To: DaveLoneRanger

What? You mean those heart-rending demands for hundreds of billions of dollars were not made with angelic intentions?

I'm shocked - shocked! - that there is gambling going on in this establishment.


10 posted on 01/24/2006 6:59:51 AM PST by thoughtomator
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To: Fishtalk

Is that seriously what has been said?


11 posted on 01/24/2006 6:59:53 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger ("We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." SCOTUS, Zorach v. Clauson)
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To: DaveLoneRanger; Sidebar Moderator

I don't think I put this in breaking news, did I?


12 posted on 01/24/2006 7:00:25 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger ("We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being." SCOTUS, Zorach v. Clauson)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
"We are seeing public officials facilitating some of the fraud," John G. Raucci, agent in charge in Mississippi, said..."It's not widespread, I will say that, but we have seen it and we have begun addressing it."

Gub'mint blank checks WILL do that.

13 posted on 01/24/2006 7:03:57 AM PST by F16Fighter
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To: Pessimist
"No high level politicos will ever get charged. "

Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards may beg to differ with you....


14 posted on 01/24/2006 7:06:59 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum.)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Ray Nagin, mayor of New Orleans, lashed back at critics after the FBI discovered that up to 700 so-called members of the city police force simply did not exist.

Funding for many of these officers was provided by the federal government.

"During the storm and aftermath we'd heard reports that hundreds of New Orleans police officers had deserted their post," said an FBI spokesman."

Further investigation indicates that these posts had never been manned and the funds supposedly paid in wages has disappeared."

"Sure, we overstated the number of officers on the force,"said Nagin. "We did this to deter crime."

As Nagin explained it, the "phantom officers" were used as a decoy to "frighten" would-be offenders. "Just as George Washington lit fake campfires to lull the British troops before his surprise attack at Princeton, we in New Orleans have employed a similar strategy."

The effectiveness of Nagin's alleged strategy is in doubt, though. New Orleans has one of the highest crime rates per capita in the nation.

As for what happened to the funds that were supposed to have paid police salaries, Nagin asserted that they were used to hire consultants and purchase computer software needed to sustain New Orleans' "Virtual Police Force." "The software had to be custom made," said Nagin. "It's not something you can buy at CompUSA. Software designers don't come cheap. Neither do the public relations experts who developed our media campaign."

The media campaign featured TV spots of various street people implying that they could be undercover cops. In one ad, an apparently toothless derelict looks into the camera and says, "I be watchin' you. So don't you go misbehavin'."

Unimpressed by Nagin's explanation, the FBI asserted it will continue its investigation.

Give me a minute, I'll get a link.

15 posted on 01/24/2006 7:15:42 AM PST by Fishtalk
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To: DaveLoneRanger; All

Life is like a box of chocolate people... err ohhh never mind!


16 posted on 01/24/2006 7:16:53 AM PST by areafiftyone (Politicians Are Like Diapers, Both Need To Be Changed Often And For The Same Reason!)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

Landrieu, Blanco, and Nagin are frauds. They never uncovered them yet?


17 posted on 01/24/2006 7:21:26 AM PST by chemicalman (Many have skeletons in their closets. In New Orleans, we have skeletons in our attics.)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Not necessarily. He must have gotten on the wrong side of someone politically - experienced a coup of sorts.

In today's climate, its hard to imagine and pubs really attacking Nagin, for instance. They're all too afraid of the PR reprecussions.


18 posted on 01/24/2006 7:22:25 AM PST by Pessimist
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To: Fishtalk

Can’t wait for this to be made into a movie starring John Lovitz as Mayor Nagin. “Yeah, that’s the ticket!”


19 posted on 01/24/2006 7:24:01 AM PST by FMBass (“Now that I’m sober I watch a lot of news” – Garofalo: From “Treason” by Coulter)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Have the FBI looked into this loons time in office...
20 posted on 01/24/2006 7:28:48 AM PST by Beth528
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