5 Mar 2004

FBI agent warns American Samoans against false applications for cyclone assistance

11:28 am on 5 March 2004

The FBI special agent for American Samoa, William Denson, has warned locals not to lie on their applications for federal cyclone assistance.

Since Cyclone Heta hit American Samoa in January more than 6-thousand people have registered for federal assistance with around 5-thousand applications approved.

The Federal Emergency Managment Office says misleading applications slow down the process to assist genuine victims.

And Special Agent Denson says those lying on their applications are committing fraud.

"The FBI is pleased to continue to play a role in American Samoa in addressing those, seldom serious, instances of misconduct or fraud. It is something we take seriously and we do intend to aggressively pursue those matters that are referred to our office."