Dallas Man Arrested on FEMA Fraud Charges

February 5, 2007

A Dallas man who claimed to be a Hurricane Katrina victim was arrested on charges outlined in a three-count indictment returned in October 2006 by a federal grand jury in Dallas, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas.

Barry Ward, age 42, of Dallas, was arrested without incident by officers with the Irving, Texas, Police Department. The indictment charges Ward with one count of filing false claims against an agency of the U.S., one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud. Ward appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge who ordered him detained, pending a detention hearing.

The indictment alleges that in September 2005, Barry Ward fraudulently applied for individual financial assistance from FEMA under the Disaster Housing Program and the Individual Assistance programs, stating that his primary home in New Orleans had suffered damage and his personal property was also damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Ward made further fraudulent requests for rental assistance from FEMA. Ward fraudulently obtained approximately $17,655 from FEMA in disaster relief funds.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted on all charges, defendant Barry Ward faces a maximum statutory sentence of 45 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana.

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

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