A man pleaded guilty to filing a false claim that his house was destroyed in the Bastrop County wildfire, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office report .
53-year-old Manuel Hernandez was charged with applying for benefits through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for a house he owned in Paige that was burned in the September 2011 wildfire. According to Western District of Texas Attorney Robert Pitman, Hernandez’s house actually was burned in the wildfire, but he was living in Austin during and prior to the time when the wildfire burned his house. Hernandez reportedly claimed an amount exceeding $30,000 of benefits from FEMA.
If actually charged with the crime, Hernandez could face up to five years of prison time, repayment of the claim he received from FEMA, and a fine not more than $250,000.
Unfortunately, many people were legitimate victims of the Bastrop wildfire, forcing them to need financial assistance to cover the extensive damage that it caused. Our legal team at Williams Kherkher can help anyone who is in need of assistance for filing a claim or fighting against an insurance company acting in bad faith. Call 800-639-8460 to speak with a representative about your legal options.