NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens woman who authorities say pretended to be a victim of Hurricane Sandy has been arrested on charges that she scammed $87,000 in benefits.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday announced the arrest of Caterina Curatolo on charges of grand larceny, insurance fraud, scheme to defraud, multiple counts of offering a false instrument for filing, and falsifying business records.
The AG’s office said this is not the first time Curatolo has scammed the federal government out of natural disaster relief.
“Ripped off every program she could possibly find. This was almost like a compulsive fraudster,” Schneiderman told CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, officials said her home on 159th Street in Fresh Meadows was badly damaged, but not due to the Oct. 29 storm. She also owned the home next door which investigators say is in good shape.
“There are very few things lower than claiming to be a victim to take relief away from the real victims,” Schneiderman told Silverman.