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KATRINA: FBI uncovers fraud, creates hurricane task force to probe corruption

Associated Press
January 23rd, 2006

Federal dollars are rolling into the Gulf Coast for hurricane recovery -- and the FBI is finding some fraud, on the part of public officials.

The top agent in Mississippi tells The Associated Press investigators are finding officials involved in "some of the fraud." John Raucci says the public corruption isn't "widespread," but law officials have started focusing on it.

He says the flood of cash means this is a time when any official prone to corruption "can dig their hand into the public trough."

He says low-level fraud includes some people misrepresenting their identities to get federal aid.

An FBI agent in Louisiana says the bureau has set up task forces in each of the state's three districts to investigate hurricane-related fraud. Sheila Thorne says allegations will be investigated as they come in.


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