A Merrick woman has been accused of FEMA fraud, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Jena Sowinski, 37, allegedly claimed and received more than $18,000 in FEMA disaster assistance after claiming that the apartment she rented at the time of Sandy had been damaged and rendered uninhabitable.
She allegedly submitted supporting documents purportedly signed by her landlord. The rental property where Sowinski lived had suffered only very minor damage due to Hurricane Sandy, and the supporting documents had been forged.
Sowinski will be arraigned today in federal court in Central Islip.
"One year ago today, Sandy devastated many of our coastal communities, causing massive displacement, dislocation and damage," Attorney Loretta Lynch said. "The defendants charged today brazenly stole disaster relief funds, rubbing salt in the wounds of their neighbors and communities."
Lynch urged anyone who has information about disaster relief fraud to call the Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.