Woman Pleads Guilty To Disaster Fraud Related To Hurricane Matthew

A woman awarded more than $11,000 in rental assistance to which she was not entitled following Hurricane Matthew has pled guilty to 15 counts of Disaster Fraud in Federal Court in Raleigh.

Prosecutors said Sheila Ruffin, 50, of Rocky Mount made false statements and representations and submitted fraudulent documentation to FEMA in connection with applications for federal disaster assistance following Hurricane Matthew. From January 31, 2017 to January 29, 2018, Ruffin was awarded more than $11,000.00 in rental assistance based on her false statements.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney/

Members of the public who suspect fraud involving disaster relief efforts, or believe they have been the victim of fraud from a person or organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of disaster victims, should contact the National Disaster Fraud Hotline toll free at (866) 720-5721. The telephone line is staffed by live operators 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also fax information to the Center at (225) 334-4707, or email it to disaster@leo.gov.