Queens Woman Accused of Scamming $87,000 in Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds

scam-imageNew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently charged a Queens woman with fraud and grand larceny charges after she allegedly scammed approximately $87,000 in Hurricane Sandy taxpayer relief funds.

Bilking the System

According to the NY Daily News, 48-year-old Queens’ resident Caterina Curatolo told Hurricane Sandy relief agencies that her Fresh Meadows home was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy and that she needed relief funds to get by.  But her home had not been destroyed.

Curatolo allegedly moved out of her home and into a downtown Manhattan hotel while thousands of other New Yorkers were in need of a place to live.  Not only has she been staying at the hotel free of charge for 269 days, she has also misused money given to her for food to go shopping at stores such as Dress Barn, Marshalls and Best Buy.

Taking Advantage of Others’ Tragedy

If the allegations against her are true, Curatolo clearly took advantage of others’ tragedies.  Unfortunately, many New Yorkers can identify with this situation as they consider whether to accept lowball settlement offers from their insurance companies for damage done to their homes and businesses by Hurricane Sandy.

Although insurance companies are known for this type of behavior, you don’t have to accept your insurance company’s lowball settlement, wrongful claim denial, improperly calculated deductible or any other form of bad faith insurance practices.

If you’re experiencing these types of bad faith practices, contact Belluck & Fox and speak with one of our experienced New York insurance dispute attorneys to get your claim paid – once and for all.