BIRMINGHAM-A federal grand jury today indicted a Decatur man for fraudulently claiming disaster benefits following the April 27, 2011 tornadoes that struck North Alabama, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Maley, and Department of Homeland Security-Office of the Inspector General Special Agent in Charge James E. Ward announced.
An indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Tracy Dwayne Whittle, 40, with making a fraudulent representation to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an application for disaster benefits concerning his place of residence on the day of the tornadoes. Whittle falsely claimed that he rented a dwelling in Hartselle that had been damaged by the storm.
The public can report fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the National Disaster Fraud Hotline, toll-free, at 1-866-720-5721 or by e-mailing email@example.com. The telephone line is staffed by a live operator 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The FBI and DHS-OIG investigated both cases.