Meridian Residents Charged With Fraud

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Federal authorities say three people have been accused of making false claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Hurricane Katrina relief funds.

Markqus Antonio Brown and Henry Jerome Armstrong, both of Meridian, and Bryan Michael Beets of Vicksburg were arrested earlier this week.

That's according to Dunn Lampton, U.S. Attorney for the southern district of Mississippi.

"We rely almost solely on citizens reporting the fraud," said Lampton at a news conference with Meridian police present. "Citizens will see situations that they know are unusual and we encourage them to report it. Give the people that have been damaged by the hurricane all the assistance."

Authorities say each man falsely claimed they lived in a dwelling that was damaged by Katrina.

If convicted, they face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Lampton also says two other people charged with making false claims have not been apprehended yet.