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

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.