ELIZABETH – An Elizabeth man was arrested last week for allegedly making false claims that his former home in Linden was damaged during flooding last year, Union County Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow announced today.
Bryan Lewis, 48, was charged with one count of third degree theft by deception after a joint investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, said Romankow.
According to the investigation, Lewis allegedly filed numerous fraudulent lease agreements and landlord statements to FEMA, claiming that his Harrison Place house was damaged during flooding. Further investigations revealed that he was attempting to charge the government for various expenses, like rent and other disaster assistance fees that he did not actually incur, authorities said.
According to records, he submitted the first fraudulent claim in April 2010 and the discrepancies were discovered in August 2010, Romankow said. A subsequent investigation revealed that Lewis submitted additional allegedly fraudulent documents after the first one in April.
He faces up to five years in prison if convicted and is currently being held at the Union County Jail on $10,000 bail.
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