By Cecilio Padilla

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A man convicted of filing a false FEMA claim for benefits after the 2018 Camp Fire has been sentenced to prison time.

Daniel Connelly, a 56-year-old Forest Ranch resident, had pleaded guilty back in July. Prosecutors had charged him with filing a false application for FEMA benefits, with Connelly claiming that he had a home in the town of Paradise damaged by the Camp Fire.

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According to court documents, Connelly knew the claim was false due to him vacating the residence months before the fire due to his bank initiating eviction proceedings.

The home was vacant and listed for sale at the time of the destructive wildfire that killed dozens.

Connelly received $2,663 from FEMA to help with rent and replace personal property.

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On Thursday, the district attorney’s office announced that Connelly had received an 8 month and 11 day prison sentence. He will also have to pay back that $2,663 he received.

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Connelly was one of several people charged with disaster benefits fraud in connection to the Camp Fire. Two Butte County women were charged back in October for allegedly making fraudulent statements in FEMA benefits applications, while six others – including Connelly – have been indicted since December 2019.

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