Woman pleads guilty to false FEMA claim after Camp Fire

A woman who lived in Paradise pleaded guilty to making false claims to receive FEMA benefits in connection to the Camp Fire.

Posted: Sep 20, 2021 12:43 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A former Paradise woman pleaded guilty to $77,000 of FEMA benefits in connection to the Camp Fire, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talber.

64-year-old Deborah Laughlin pleaded guilty on Monday for making false statements in a FEMA application.

Court documents show that Laughlin made false claims that 7209 Skyway, Apt. 18 in Paradise was her primary residence at the time of the Camp Fire.

At the time, there were other people living and renting the address when the Camp Fire burned through Paradise.

Laughlin received $7,886 to replace essential items that were damaged and $1,788 for two months of rental assistance.

She also received temporary hosing from June 24, 2019, until April 7, 2021.

The money she received and the cost of the housing totaled to be $77,249.

Laughlin is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20 and faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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