Feeds

Katrina web scammer arrested

Bogus mercy flights

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A Florida man has been arrested and charged with four counts of fraud after receiving $40,000 (£22,700) in donations to fund mercy flights to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

But Gary Kraser never made those flights even though he told visitors to his AirKatrina.com web site harrowing accounts of trips he had made.

According to his site, he was flying in medical supplies to the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina which hit Louisiana in August. He also said he was evacuating children and others who were in a critical medical condition.

But he needed cash to help fund the flights and told donors that "every dollar, every nickel, (would) go directly into the tanks of these pilots planes on their mission of mercy" and managed to raise $40,000 in just two days.

In one posting on his website he wrote: "I am shaking as I write this, as I just arrived home, and just now allowed my body and mind to accept what I saw tonight... I am crying as I read this... I saw people on their roofs, that had used axes more than likely to cut through the roof, waving at us, as they thought we were Air Rescue... I saw dogs wrapped in electrical lines still alive and sparks flying from their bodies being electrocuted, as well as some people dead already.

If I had a helicopter, I would be there now rather than back in FL... I'm so sorry I couldn't do more... I'm crying and hugging my dog next to me now... I will hear these screams for the rest of my life..."

And in another he said: "I'm flying full loads out, and offering the empty plane on the outbound for Air Ambulance. If we didn't have the plane, I don't think the little baby would have survived... She is undergoing transplant surgery at this moment I am writing... 7 mos old, and smiling the whole way, as if she knew..."

According to the FBI, this is the first Hurricane Katrina Internet charity fraud case brought by the Department of Justice.

Said US Attorney Alexander Acosta in a statement: "It is simply unconscionable and intolerable that anyone would seek a personal financial benefit from the horrible human tragedy caused by Hurricane Katrina." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.