JACKSONVILLE — A Suwannee County woman faces charges of disaster assistance fraud related to Hurricane Irma.
United State Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced Wednesday an indictment charging 39-year-old Deanna Jo White. If convicted, White faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, plus payment of restitution to the United States.
According to the indictment, in September 2017, the suspect falsified records concerning her primary residence when submitting an application for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individuals and Households Program for Hurricane Irma.
The case is part of the United States Attorney’s Disaster Fraud Task Force, which was announced in September 2017. This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security - Office of Inspector General with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations, the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.
Members of the public who suspect fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at 866-720-5721. A live operator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week staffs the telephone line. Information can also be faxed to the Center at 225-334-4707, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.