24 Jul 2003

American Samoan homeowners accused of false damage claims

10:19 am on 24 July 2003

Inspector of the Federal Emergency Management Agency have discovered that some homeowners have made false claims of damages from the floods and mudslides that hit American Samoa in May.

The discovery has prompted a warning from FEMA and the office of the government representative to FEMA, Lieutenant Governor Aitofele Sunia.

Lt Governor Sunia says making false statements on an application will result in an investigation by the Inspector General or the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

FEMA's coordinating officer, Bill Ioley says people who have made a mistake when reporting damage or may have misrepresented their losses will have the opportunity to amend or cancel their claim.

The agency has paid out 5-and-a-half-million US dollars in federal assistance and the registration for such aid closes on August the 5th.