Butte County Man Sentenced for Filing a False Claim for FEMA Benefits After California’s Camp Fire


SACRAMENTO : A California man was sentenced today to 8 months and 11 days in prison and ordered to pay $2,663 in restitution for defrauding FEMA by filing false claims for benefits offered to certain victims of the November 2018 Camp Fire, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
On July 30, Daniel Connelly, 56, of Forest Ranch, pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with a major disaster or emergency benefits. According to court documents, on Jan. 16, 2019, Connelly filed a false application for FEMA benefits. In his application, Connelly falsely claimed a Paradise residence, which had been damaged by the Camp Fire, as his primary residence. Connelly knew his claim was false at the time he applied for FEMA benefits because he had vacated the residence months prior to the fire after his then landlord, a bank, initiated eviction proceedings. At the time of the Camp Fire, the residence was vacant and listed for sale. As a result of Connelly’s false statement in his application for FEMA benefits, he received $2,663 to assist with rent and the replacement of personal property.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shelley D. Weger prosecuted the case.


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