Report Indicates FEMA Overpaid

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that in three Louisiana parishes, FEMA paid at least $70 million and that represents more payments than households.

The report says that in 36 parishes and counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, FEMA awarded $102 million to at least 51,000 more applicants than local officials said were displaced by the storm.

But a FEMA spokeswoman says there were thousands of students from five universities in New Orleans who were displaced by Katrina. Also, many families were split up and therefore legally entitled to more than one payment.

The spokeswoman says FEMA put the needs of disaster victims first, and she says the agency will prosecute people who commit fraud to get federal aid.

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