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Report: FEMA hasn't tried to recoup $643M in bad payments

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Posted: Jan 3, 2011 2:50 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: new, orleans, fema, government, recoup, payment, disaster, improper, hurriane, katrina, report, audit, wbrz, louisiana

NEW ORLEANS - A government audit says the Federal Emergency Management Agency hasn't tried to recoup roughly $643 million in improper payments made to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

A report issued Monday by the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general's office says the improper payments have gone uncollected since June 2007 because FEMA hasn't given its final approval to a new recoupment process.

FEMA has distributed more than $7 billion in disaster assistance payments since the 2005 hurricanes. An estimated 160,000 applicants received about $643 million in improper payments resulting from fraud, FEMA errors or other mistakes.

The audit says a new process for recovering improper payments has been awaiting FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate's approval since late 2008.

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