NY woman pleads guilty to Sandy fraud

NEW YORK (AP) - A Long Island woman has admitted she fraudulently collected over $18,000 in Superstrom Sandy disaster relief funds.

Jena Sowinski pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of filing a fraudulent claim with FEMA.

She told the court she was “very remorseful.”

Prosecutors say she received the funds in FEMA assistance by claiming her Merrick apartment became uninhabitable.

Prosecutors say the apartment suffered only minor damage.

Newsday (http://bit.ly/1jIBH2y ) says four other people were arrested in unrelated cases on charges of illegally collecting a total of over $70,000 from FEMA.

FEMA money was supposed to be used to help Sandy victims repair primary residences, replace damaged personal property or for rental assistance.

Sowinski was ordered to pay back the money. She faces six to 12 months in prison.

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Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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