More fraud surfaces in Katrina's wake - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

More fraud surfaces in Katrina's wake

There are more allegations of fraud in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. This time it's state employees who investigators say scammed the red cross for relief money. The lure of easy money may have snared a mississippi state trooper and a couple of driver's license examiners in Natchez. Colonel Marvin Curtis got word of possible misconduct Friday.

"We immediately started an internal investigation at that point, which has resulted in departmental action against two civilian employees," said Curtis of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. The two employees -- both driver's license examiners -- and one state trooper are now on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Sources say the two civilian employees under investigation went into a computer and changed their personal information to reflect gulf coast addresses, then went to a relief center and received a check from the red cross.

There are also reports that information may have been altered for some of the family members of those under investigation so that they, too, could fraudulently get relief checks from the red cross. "At this point, because of the investigation, I can't comment on that, but we will be forthcoming with that information," said curtis. Colonel curtis says at this point there is no reason to believe any other mississippi highway patrol employees -- civilian or otherwise -- are involved in the scam. Both internal affairs and the mississippi bureau of investigation are investigating.

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