Brooklyn assemblywoman indicted on fraud, with SI Sandy connection

NY Assemblywoman Stole Sandy Money from FEMA Tried to Cover it Up Prosecutors

Not only was Harris accused of stealing from the government, she reportedly stole almost $25,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), that was responsible for helping NY and New Jersey rebuild after Hurricane Sandy hit the states hard in 2012.

Prosecutors said Harris pocketed $25,000 in federal funds by falsely claiming Superstorm Sandy chased her from her Coney Island residence into a Staten Island rental.

As NBC New York points out, despite the fact Harris's biography calls her a "vocal advocate" for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, part of the money she allegedly stole was money designated for FEMA relief efforts.

In addition to the Hurricane Sandy-related frauds, Harris faces charges over an estimated $76,000 that the New York City Council awarded the nonprofit Coney Island Generation Gap, which Harris founded in 2003.

Harris is the second person in a row to represent the 46th Assembly District in Brooklyn to have been indicted.

Harris faces more than 50 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charges.

Harris also allegedly lied and said her house had been so badly damaged that she had to move and even presented the government with fraudulent lease agreements and rent payments for another house in Staten Island.

The 57-year-old lawmaker, who was first elected in 2015, is accused of fraudulently pocketing $25,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and failing to disclose it during her recent bankruptcy proceedings.

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Where her Coney Island neighbors saw devastation, crooked state Assemblywoman Pamela Harris envisioned opportunity - and cashed in. She also made other false claims to convince Build It Back to pay for significant construction to her home.

A NY official was charged on Tuesday, Jan. 9, for allegedly defrauding government agencies out of tens of thousands of dollars-including diverting money that would have gone to Hurricane Sandy relief.

'When she learned that law enforcement was investigating her various fraud schemes, she pressured witnesses to lie to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and cover them up, ' US Attorney Richard Donoghue told the Daily News.

She instead diverted the cash into her checking account to cover personal expenses in 2015, the indictment charged. There is a maximum sentence of five years for the bankruptcy fraud charges.

Between March and May 2017, after Harris learned of the grand jury's investigation into her various fraud schemes, she directed witnesses to lie to FBI agents conducting the probe, which the witnesses did.

She was specifically accused of spending $10,000 of government money to pay for airline and cruise tickets for herself and her husband.

The final scheme described in Tuesday's indictment involves Harris' filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2013 after she owed approximately $60,000 on her mortgage for the Coney Island property.

Harris' office did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

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