CAIRO POLICE CHIEF CHARGED WITH DISASTER RELIEF FRAUDPosted by Jade Wingard on Friday, January 3rd, 2014 @ 6:00 pm.
CAIRO, Ill.—Cairo Police Chief Bernard F. Brown was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of disaster relief fraud and making false statements, according to a press release from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in Benton.
The charges were filed in the federal court’s Benton office on December 3, 2013.
The charges state that Brown made multiple false statements regarding his place of residence in order to collect relocation assistance payments from FEMA in connection with Disaster Declaration DR-1991.
Brown, 48, stated in reports that he was residing at 316 3rd Street, Cairo, Ill. while his residence was at 829 6th Street, Cairo, Ill. Authorities allege the defendant never left his residence.
Documents released by The United States’ District Court offer detailed accounts of the statements which were submitted as written claims between September 22, 2011 and June 7, 2012.
Also included in the indictment is a charge of disaster fraud. The documents state that “on or about June 18, 2012, in Alexander County, Brown knowingly used false writings or documents which he transmitted by facsimile to FEMA, knowing the same to contain materially false, ficticious, and fraudulant statements and representations, to wit: that because of severe flooding in Southern Illinois, he had changed his residence and was paying rent to occupy 316 3rd Street, Cairo, Illinois, and was entitled to relief from FEMA for reimbursement of such payment for rent.”
The press release indicates that the False Statement charges carry a potential sentence of up to five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.
It also states that the Disaster Relief Fraud charge carries a potential sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to 5 years supervised release.
Brown’s trial has been set for February 21, 2014, at the U.S. District Court in Benton, Ill., the press release notes.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Department of Homeland Security and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.
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