Friday, March 3, 2006
The lure of easy money from the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief seems to have tempted a supplier. Galveston hotel owner Daniel Yeh was indicted in the Southern District of Texas on wire fraud and false claims charges related to falsified submissions for reimbursement for providing lodging to Katrina victims at the Flagship Hotel. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office press release (here):
[I]t is alleged that Daniel Yeh took over the task of billing the federal lodging programs online after Hurricane Rita. Yeh is accused of filing fraudulent claims for reimbursement for (1) rooms in the names of hotel employees who previously stayed at the Flagship free of charge as part of their employment arrangement; (2) rooms in the name of supposed hurricane evacuees on dates when those rooms were occupied by paying hotel guests with different names; (3) rooms occupied by friends, relatives, and employees of his wife’s business, who were recruited to stay at the hotel, but were not evacuees; (4) rooms in the names of supposed hurricane evacuees who never had rooms at the Flagship; (5) rooms in the name of supposed hurricane evacuees on dates when those rooms were unoccupied; (6) for multiple rooms in the names of a single guest when, in fact, the guest occupied fewer rooms than billed.
Yeh is accused of bilking the FEMA Public Assistance program out of $232,000, a much higher figure than the amounts seen in other Katrina frauds. (ph)