Queens woman busted for posing as Sandy victim to get benefits

Credit: Thinkstock
The woman racked up bills of more than $80,000. Credit: Thinkstock

A Queens woman who received thousands in relief benefits was arrested for posing as a victim of Superstorm Sandy, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday.

Caterina Curatolo was busted for multiple counts of grand larceny, insurance fraud, scheme to defraud and falsifying business records, among other charges, for pretending her Fresh Meadows home was inhabitable after Sandy.

“Today’s arrest shows that scammers who trade on tragedy will be exposed and punished,” Schneiderman said in a statement.

According to Schneiderman’s felony complaint, Curatolo stayed in hotel rooms meant for Sandy evacuees for more than 269 days, racking up a bill of roughly $83,500.

When Curatolo was picked up by investigators, she was still staying at a Brooklyn Holiday Inn Express.

Curatolo also allegedly spent $3,590 from the city and Red Cross that was meant for food at Best Buy, Dressbarn, Marshalls and other retailers.

Schneiderman’s office said damage to Curatolo’s home in Queens was sustained two years before Sandy. She also owns the home next door, where undercover officers observed her picking up mail.

The complaint alleges Curatolo also made an auto insurance claim for her car, though an investigation by an insurance company showed no signs of water damage.

Schneiderman’s office also alleges Curatolo made a claim for roof damage after Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Curatolo’s attorney did not return a phone call requesting comment.

If convicted, Curatolo faces up to seven years in prison.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Activists, public advocate, announce new MTA measures to…

The MTA is taking new approaches to combating sexual harassment, including adding cameras in new trains and an improved reporting system for victims and witnesses.…

Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

NFL

Source: Drafting Geno Smith was '100 percent' John…

It might have been a “Jets decision” as general manager John Idzik likes to say, but it wasn't a unanimous decision to draft Geno Smith last year.

MLB

Mets 2014 report card

The Mets wrapped up their eight straight season without a playoff appearance last weekend. Needless to say, they fell a bit short of general manager…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Chloé: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Chloe Spring 2015 show from Pairs Fashion Week.

Parenting

What to eat if you're trying to get…

The guru who helped Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet and other celebrities get pregnant shares her tips.