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FEMA awards millions in extra payments after Katrina

Sally Kestin, Megan O'Matz and John Maines of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel continue their investigation into waste and fraud swirling around Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster aid, this time focusing on Hurricane Katrina. In three Louisiana parishes, FEMA issued more $2,000 aid checks than there are households, at a cost to taxpayers of at least $70 million. And in 36 parishes and counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, FEMA awarded $102 million to at least 51,000 more applicants than local officials said were displaced by the storm. " In Mobile, Ala., residents coached each other on the right words to use when calling FEMA to get the $2,000. Many who received the money never had to leave their homes. Some had minor roof leaks. "The newspaper's findings are based on a review of $1.46 billion in FEMA claims paid through Sept. 22 and interviews with officials from 54 counties and parishes.

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