HOUSTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- A Houston man faces charges of defrauding the federal government by falsely claiming to be a New Orleans resident in need of relief after Hurricane Katrina.
Barney Spears was arrested Thursday in LaPlace, La.
Investigators say Spears had been living and working in Houston since 2004. After Katrina, he filed an online application with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, saying he had been evacuated from New Orleans and giving an address in the city.
Evacuees have been getting $2,000 in cash assistance. The government wired the money to a credit union account.
"In the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, millions of Americans dug into their pockets to help those in need," said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg. "A few, sadly, tried to profit from the misfortune of others. Given the immense suffering occasioned by this storm, these crimes are disturbing and disappointing."