Judicial Watch • Hurricane Relief Money Used For Massages, Gambling, Jewelry

Hurricane Relief Money Used For Massages, Gambling, Jewelry

Hurricane Relief Money Used For Massages, Gambling, Jewelry

FEBRUARY 14, 2006

Many Louisiana hurricane victims who received federal assistance money in the form of $2000 debit cards used it to pay for condoms, a pistol, strip club fees and expensive tattoos, according to a lengthy report released by the United States Government Accountability Office.

Appropriately titled “FEMA’s Control Weaknesses Exposed the Government to Significant Fraud and Abuse,” the 30-page report also addresses the use of multiple social security numbers to obtain unwarranted handouts.

The report’s most interesting feature is table 2 on page 22, which is titled Purchases That Did Not Appear Necessary to Satisfy Immediate Emergency Needs. The table details how FEMA-issued debit cards were used to pay for a $400 Swedish massage, a $1,000 bail bond, $200 worth of alcohol, a $1,000 gambling debt at a Louisiana casino and even a $1,100 diamond engagement ring.

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