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Attorney General Jeff Landry Arrests Baton Rouge Woman for Disaster Fraud

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has arrested another Baton Rouge woman for FEMA fraud following last year’s flood. This arrest comes on the heels of General Landry apprehending two other Baton Rouge women on similar charges.

“I am proud of the hard work being done by my team and our law enforcement partners to uncover, investigate, and arrest those who defraud the taxpayers,” said General Landry. “My office and I remain dedicated to protecting the people’s hard-earned tax dollars from criminals trying to scam the system.

Lakita Smith, 36, was arrested for Felony Theft of $4,422.04 and False Swearing. Smith filed two disaster claims with FEMA alleging she had suffered a loss of personal property and required rental assistance. In her claim, Smith said the home she was renting had sustained significant damage that required her to relocate while the structure was being repaired. She then received $2,310.04 for personal property and $2,112.00 for rental assistance. It was later discovered that the property did not sustain damage from the floodwater and was in fact inhabitable.

Smith was arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Detention Center by the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation.

This case was initiated as part of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s partnership with the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) – a nationwide initiative to protect available funds and assistance for those victims of both natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and the Gulf oil spill. If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations – you can contact the NCDF by calling 866-720-5721, faxing 225-334-4707, emailing disaster@leo.gov, or writing National Center for Disaster Fraud, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4909.

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Coming soon, the attorney's general office seeks to provide a mechanism by which to take online payments for collections.