Couple from Pasco County Arrested for False Claims of FEMA Benefits

Raven Haengel, Writer, Photographer

In Ocala, Florida on September 9th, 2020: 38-year-old Christina Lynn Catalano and her husband 54-year-old Joseph Samuel Catalano were announced their formal accusation of a 2017 FEMA disaster aid fraud about Hurricane Irma. If convicted Mrs. Catalano will be charged with the maximum of 30 years in federal prison and pay restitution to the United States, while her husband will be charged with 5 years in federal prison. The formal accusation was the false claim of destruction to a trailer that never existed and claimed it was Mrs. Catalano’s primary residence in Citrus County. Records show the submission for aid to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Individuals and Households Program. On January 31st, 2020, the formal accusation claims the Catalano’s made a false report to federal agents of the Department of Homeland Security to hide the fraudulent claims. The case has been handed to United States Attorney’s Disaster Fraud Task Force. It is also being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General. The case will be persecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael P. Felicetta.