Miami-Dade Woman Accused of Making False FEMA Claim, Pleads Guilty

July 25, 2005

A Miami-Dade woman who received $12,359.39 from FEMA for damage claimed to a house she no longer owned has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, the U.S. Attorney’s Office told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Miranda Woodard, 36, was one of 14 people indicted in March after receiving disaster aid after Hurricane Frances last year, despite the storm’s landfall being far north of Miami-Dade. Authorities said Woodard did not own the home during the storm and none of her belongings were damaged. She is the 12th person to plead guilty in the ongoing federal case, which was sparked by a Sun-Sentinel investigation. One person was acquitted and another awaits trial.

Woodard is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5. Federal prosecutors are requesting she be put on home detention, pay court fines up to $250,000 and repay the money she received from FEMA, according to her plea agreement.

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