Feds: Philly woman stole $18K in FEMA disaster assistance funds

A Philadelphia woman is facing federal charges for allegedly stealing nearly $18,500 in Federal Emergency Management Agency benefits over the course of more than a year.

Prosecutors said Kia Arthur, 41, claimed she was displaced from her home on Emily Street in August 2011 as a result of Hurricane Irene. 

She allegedly filed an application for FEMA disaster assistance and submitted receipts for rent she was purportedly paying to live at a new home on Ringgold Street.

The federal government, from October 2011 until December 2012, sent Arthur rental assistance checks totaling $18,413, court documents state.

But, investigators contend, Arthur was never forced to relocate, nor did she even move from her home.

Federal prosecutors filed an information Wednesday charging Arthur with one count of theft of government funds. If convicted, she faces a maximum possible penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, $18,413 in restitution and a $250,000 fine.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.