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15 Charged in Thefts Related to 9/11 

By SAMUEL MAULL, Associated Press Writer 

NEW YORK (AP) - Fifteen people, including four city employees, were arrested on charges they stole more than $52,000 from charities and relief agencies by filing false claims for benefits related to the World Trade Center attack.

The arrests bring to 91 the number who have been similarly charged in Sept. 11-related frauds, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Leroy Frazer, chief of the Manhattan district attorney's Special Prosecutions Bureau, said most of the suspects were arrested Wednesday.

The defendants filed for benefits from either the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( news - web sites), or Safe Horizon, or from a combination of those agencies.

A former temporary employee at the city's Housing Authority stole the most of anyone in this group, District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said. She got $12,170 from FEMA after claiming she had lost her job because of the attack, when in fact she had already left her job.

The most serious charges against the defendants third-degree grand larceny, falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing are punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Submitted by: Werner Hetzner 




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