[JURIST] Federal authorities have now indicted a total of 49 people for involvement in a scheme to fraudulently collect more than $200,000 from American Red Cross [organization website; press release] funds designed to assist Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive] victims. The Red Cross discovered the fraud after an internal audit revealed unusually high payouts from the Bakersfield, California Red Cross call center, where at least 14 of the suspects were employed by a call center contractor. The employees are believed to have helped family and friends file false claims for aid money, collecting an average payout of $1,000 per claim. Following indictments made in October [US DOJ press release], six people have pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges. AP has more.
Previously on JURIST's Paper Chase: