In its essence, isn’t disaster relief meant to relieve people of the troubles that have been brought by disasters? Just picture it – hurricanes, tidal waves, earth quakes, forest fires; every single one of these events cannot be easily controlled or contained and their effects usually leave thousands or millions crippled and in desperate need of proper help. Disaster relief comes in the form of many assets – money, perhaps, in order to rebuild home or institutions; or even food, water, medicine and the like.
So how can there be disaster fraud?
Citing information from the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, disaster relief fraud is a situation wherein assets meant for assistance of relief operations is illegally mismanaged for personal gain of a private party. A relatively straightforward example would be, say, if there were disaster relief assets such as food or medicine that was then hoarded and sold by a private party for a profit.
That is how disaster relief can, then, be fraudulent – though the variables involved can make things somewhat more complicated than all that.
It can be difficult to be caught up in fraudulence of this nature as it is illegal and considered a white collar crime, the defense attorneys’ website says. When you have just had to suffer and survive a calamity that would warrant the label “disaster”, you can need all the help you can get and you don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of a legal battle involving a criminal conviction.
If you or someone you know has been suspected to be involved with disaster relief fraud, be aware that this is a serious accusation. Proceedings of this nature can be complicated due to the implication of criminal activity or intent.