Camden County, NJ Woman Gets House Arrest for Hurricane Sandy Relief Fraud
A Camden County NJ woman who defrauded the government and stole Hurricane Sandy relief funds managed to avoid prison after reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
Andrea Knoerzer, a resident of Voorhees New Jersey, lied and committed fraud when filling out an application for disaster relief funds after Hurricane Sandy struck South Jersey. Knoerzer, who resides in Voorhees, owned a vacation house in Ocean City NJ, where Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage in 2012. Knoerzer also told federal officials that she owned a Volvo station wagon that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Shortly after Hurricane Sandy came and left New Jersey, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) let residents know that they could apply for financial assistance if they were displaced by the hurricane. Knoerzer subsequently filed an application with FEMA and claimed that her Ocean City NJ vacation home had become uninhabitable as a result of severe property damage. The key to Knoerzer’s application was her fraudulent claim that she lived in the Ocean City house. However, the truth was that her primary residence was a house in Voorhees, NJ.
FEMA initially approved Knoezer’s application and provided her with disaster relief assistance. The stolen government funds totaled $13,373. Additionally, Knoerzer got another $7,500 from FEMA to cover the costs of transportation and rental vehicles after her Volvo was supposedly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Knoerzer eventually reached a plea agreement with the US Attorney’s Office. In exchange for pleading guilty to a criminal charge of disaster benefits fraud, Knoerzer secured a promise from federal prosecutors to recommend that she not be sentenced to prison time. Instead, prosecutors said that they would recommend house arrest.
Now a U.S. District Court judge has imposed Knoerzer’s sentence in the criminal case. She was sentenced to six months of house arrest. During that time, she will be subject to electronic monitoring and will not be allowed to leave her residence in Voorhees, New Jersey. Additionally, Knoerzer will be required to pay restitution for the money she stole from the government.
For more information about this fraud case, read the NJ.com article, “N.J. Woman Sentenced for Committing Hurricane Sandy Fraud.”
If you are facing criminal charges for theft or fraud in New Jersey, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Jill R. Cohen, Esq., is an experienced criminal defense attorney who won’t stop fighting for you. Contact The Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen today to schedule a free consultation.