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Florida man faces prison time for fake disaster aid claims

Posted at 11:09 AM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 11:09:36-04

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man faces up to 20 years in prison for providing false information to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to receive disaster assistance.

The office of U.S. State Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said in an email sent Tuesday that 47-year-old Lepoleon Spikes pleaded guilty to wire fraud and has agreed to pay $57,789 in restitution.

Prosecutors say Spikes submitted applications to receive disaster aid from FEMA after Tropical Storm Debby, Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma. He falsely claimed that his house in Jacksonville was damaged, causing him to relocate.

The case is part of the Disaster Fraud Task Force, created in September 2017.