New York Dem Charged With Stealing Hurricane Relief Funds

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

A New York Democratic Assemblywoman was indicted for stealing over twenty five-thousand dollars of government money, including Hurricane relief funds.

Pamela Harris, 57, from Brooklyn, was charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements, bankruptcy fraud, witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the New York Daily News. Harris allegedly used the money for vacations, cruise tickets and even her lingerie bill at Victoria’s Secret.

Authorities arrested Harris Tuesday morning and charged her before a federal judge later in the day.

Not only was Harris accused of stealing from the government, she reportedly stole nearly $25,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that was responsible for helping New York and New Jersey rebuild after Hurricane Sandy hit the states hard in 2012. (RELATED: Hurricane Sandy expected to cost more than $20 billion [VIDEO])

“In fact, at a time when many residents in her district were dealing with the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Harris was busy brewing a storm of her own, one that resulted in her receiving significant payouts by the very federal agency charged with helping those truly in need,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said in a statement to Fox News.

Harris also allegedly lied and said her house had been so badly damaged that she had to move and even presented the government with fraudulent lease agreements and rent payments for another house in Staten Island.

“These types of crimes threaten the financial stability of our local and federal governments, but when a public official is involved, even more is at risk,” Sweeney said. “Today we are proud to put an end to this inexcusable scheme.”

Harris faces more than 50 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges.

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