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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