If people see fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of disaster relief in the wake of the April tornadoes they can report it to the authorities through a federal program.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian cautioned residents to remain aware of potential fraud related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency declaration for 10 East Tennessee counties' storm relief operations.
People can report fraud to the National Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or at firstname.lastname@example.org., according to a news release.
"Federal disaster relief funds are to be used to help persons who have suffered harm and loss. We will aggressively prosecute anyone who tries to victimize these individuals a second time or attempts to defraud our taxpayers," Killian said in the release.
Fraud-related crimes can lead to sentences of up to 20 years in prison, fines of more than $250,000 and restitution to the victims, according to the release.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.