Authorities Arrest Seven On Storm Related Fraud Charges - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/23/05

Authorities Arrest Seven On Storm Related Fraud Charges

State and federal officials have promised to crackdown on hurricane related fraud. Tuesday they made good on that promise with seven arrests.

Investigators with the state attorney general's office arrested John Johnston on charges of home repair fraud and violations of the consumer protection act. Johnston was doing business as Re-Roofing America on Pass Road in Gulfport.

Investigators claim that Johnston was paid $10,000 for a roofing job for a Katrina victim, but didn't do the work and didn't re-pay the money. WLOX News talked with Johnston who says all the money has been returned. He also said the roofing job was contracted a year before the storm hit.

Meanwhile, six Mississippians, including a Gulfport woman, have been indicted on fraud charges by the U.S. Attorney's office. Officials say the they all tried to file false claims with FEMA. Several agencies were involved in the investigation.

If found guilty of the charges, the six could face five years in prison and be fined $250,000.

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