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National Insurance Crime Bureau

Mandeville Man Sentenced for Defrauding FEMA After a Disaster

US Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana, Sept. 24, 2021

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that BRUCE D. COX, age 62, of Mandeville, was sentenced on September 23, 2021 to one year of probation and over $35,000 in combined fine and restitution payments today for theft of government funds in connection with a false application for disaster assistance.

According to court documents, COX submitted a falsified application to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (“FEMA”) for disaster assistance. Following the August 2016 storms and flooding in Tangipahoa Parish, the application sought disaster assistance for a rental property in Robert, Louisiana that COX managed. In the application, COX falsely stated that the property in Robert was the owner’s primary residence, when in fact COX rented out the property to a tenant and knew that the property’s owner had never lived there. As a result of false statements in the application, FEMA paid disaster benefits to the property’s owner, despite the property owner not qualifying for those benefits.

United States Magistrate Judge Michael B. North sentenced COX to one year of probation, a fine of $4,000, restitution of $31,361.28 to FEMA, and a mandatory special assessment of $25.

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