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 disaster declaration for 10 East Tennessee counties.
People can report this to the National Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"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 a news release.
Fraud-related crimes carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison, fines of more than $250,000 and restitution to the victims, according to the release.