Feeds

Katrina web scammer arrested

Bogus mercy flights

The essential guide to IT transformation

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." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.