Brad Kieserman, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) insurance program, told 60 Minutes that he has seen evidence of fraud in the reports used to deny thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims from receiving their full insurance benefits.
Kieserman also said he had seen “evidence of the use of unlicensed engineers for flood damage reports” a criminal act of which FEMA has been aware of for “more than a year.”
Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi asked Kieserman if he had seen evidence of the use of unlicensed engineers.
“Yes. Which is why I referred it to the Inspector General,” he responded.
“I’m not going to sit here and conceal the fact that it happened,” Kieserman said. “Because in the last three weeks, I’ve seen evidence of it.” That evidence includes engineering reports that had originally listed flood water for the cause of structural damage to buildings and homes but were later changed in order to reduce insurance payouts.
Insurance companies dealing with Hurricane Sandy claims are overseen by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, which is currently $23 billion in debt to the US Treasury, according to the report.
Alfonsi also asked if anyone at FEMA had specifically told insurance companies to “keep the claims down,” to which Kieserman said he had not.
“As far as I know, no one at FEMA has ever done that,” he said.
Watch the full report from last night’s episode of 60 Minutes.