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Federal Judge Says Privacy Outweighs Public Interest in FEMA Fraud

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  1. Freedom of Information
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A federal judge in Florida ruled that the Federal Emergency Management Agency can keep confidential the names of persons who receive hurricane relief funds. The decision came in a lawsuit brought by three newspapers who requested claims information after grand jury fraud indictments and other indications that millions had been paid in false claims. Judge John M. Steele said the privacy interests of the claimants “substantially” outweighs the FOIA-related public interest in disclosure.” The judge did order the release of a number of other hurricane relief related records (11/7/05)