Miami, FL

Florida man sentenced to prison for lying about damage caused by Hurricane Irma

MIAMIDIARIO

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A Florida man was sentenced to two years in federal prison Friday for lying about damage caused by Hurricane Irma to receive relief money.

According to Jacksonville federal court records, the man identified as Deontre Javan Taylor, 27, pleaded guilty in June to disaster assistance fraud.

In addition to jail time, Taylor was also ordered to pay back money he received from the federal government, NBC Miami reported.

The Florida man indicated, according to court documents, that his Jacksonville home was damaged by Hurricane Irma in a September 2017 application for disaster assistance benefits to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Taylor reported that storm surge flooded her home and lightning caused a power surge that resulted in a loss of power.

In addition, he allegedly also moved into a hotel, requiring housing assistance. This led to FEMA paying him $ 8,038.19.

In a later investigation, authorities determined that Taylor had not lived in the home since at least 2015 and the location was not damaged by storm surge or power loss during Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma caused damage in Florida

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma struck Florida, causing about $ 50 billion in damage statewide, making this hurricane the “fifth most expensive in America,” behind only Katrina (2005). , Harvey (2017), María (2017) and Sandy (2012).

Irma caused 44 direct deaths as a result of its strong winds, heavy rains and waves in the Caribbean islands and the southeastern United States.

Most of the deaths were in the Caribbean, where Irma's winds were most devastating and deadly.

Thus, in the islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy there were 11 direct deaths, 9 in Cuba, 4 in Saint Maarten, 4 in the British Virgin Islands, 3 in the United States Virgin Islands, 3 in Barbuda, 1 in Barbados, 1 in Haiti and 1 in Anguilla.

In the United States, 7 direct deaths were reported (four in Florida, two in Georgia and one in South Carolina) and another 85 indirect deaths due to the hurricane, 80 of which corresponded to the state of Florida.

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