UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. -- An Upper Saddle River woman collected nearly $175,000 in taxpayer-funded Superstorm Sandy relief by claiming her Jersey Shore home as her primary residence, said state authorities who charged her and four others on Monday with fraud.
Jennifer Casey, 33, filed bogus applications for FEMA assistance and state grants for her second home, on Cove Point Road in Toms River, in the wake of the historic storm that struck the Northeast on Oct. 29, 2012, Attorney General Christopher Porrino said.
The Toms River home was unoccupied at the time, he said.
Authorities charged Casey with theft by deception and unsworn falsification.
Since March 2014, the Attorney General’s Office has filed criminal charges against 90 others accusing them of similar fraud -- including Casey and four others from other parts of the state on Monday.
Each received summonses ordering them to appear in court.
The defendants "stole from disaster relief programs and by extension from the victims who were hardest hit by the storm,” Porrino said.
“Stealing any type of public aid is reprehensible," added New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Elie Honig, "but it’s especially egregious to steal relief funds in the context of a historic disaster, when every dollar is needed for recovery.”
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