By Richie Ramos

PARADISE (CBS13) – Two Butte County women were charged with making fraudulent statements in an application for FEMA benefits in connection to the deadly Camp Fire in 2018, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced on Thursday.

Authorities said Cynthia Seeley, 66, and Kristen Canapary, 53, each submitted a fraudulent claim seeking disaster assistance.

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Seeley allegedly claimed she rented a home in Magalia that was hit by the fire and received over $11,600 in cash benefits. Canapary allegedly claimed she rented a home in Paradise that was also hit by the fire and received nearly $9,000 in cash benefits as well as temporary housing.

Both were charged with one count of fraud with disaster relief.

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“These indictments are the result of ongoing efforts to investigate and prosecute a variety of disaster related frauds, including fraudulent claims for disaster assistance,” said Scott, with the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of California. “In 2018, in the aftermath of the Carr and Camp Fires, we encouraged the public to report any suspected fraudulent activity and promised to aggressively pursue and prosecute fraud and abuse.”

These indictments follow six others being charged with similar fraud back in December 2019.

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Seeley and Canapary both face up to 30 years in prison and $250,000 fines, if convicted.