FEMA admits computer glitch; denies fraud

Jan. 11, 2005 at 11:42 AM
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MIAMI, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has conceded it overpaid $12 million in U.S. hurricane aid because of a computer glitch, but denies widespread fraud.

The $12 million went to 3,500 residents of Miami-Dade county, 100 miles south of any hurricane strength and the agency said it is trying to get the money back, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday.

But in a telephone news conference, FEMA said they did a good job helping with relief and recovery efforts from the four Hurricanes that hit Florida last year.

They said they found no fraud in Miami-Dade County, where it paid out nearly $30 million in damage claims for Hurricane Frances.

"We've found that the majority of concerns raised regarding assistance provided to individuals in Florida have logical explanations and are not representative of widespread fraud," said Daniel Craig, directory of FEMA's recovery division.

After the uproar over the Miami area payouts, a Senate subcommittee announced it would investigate allegations of nationwide fraud and abuse.

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