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West Virginia woman pleads guilty to taking disaster funds

February 14, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia woman has pleaded guilty to embezzling thousands of dollars of disaster benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after heavy flooding more than two years ago.

The U.S. attorney’s office says 57-year-old Pamela Taylor of Clay County on Tuesday admitted to falsely registering for benefits after the June 2016 flood there. Her home wasn’t damaged and she was living in it but claimed it was damaged and she was staying in a rental unit.

The prosecutor’s office said she agreed to pay back the more than $18,000 in FEMA benefits she received.

Taylor faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Sentencing is set for May 30.

The 2016 floods killed 23 people statewide and ravaged homes, businesses, schools and infrastructure.

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