Man accused of using faking ID to get fire money

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fort mcmurray

CALGARY – A 29-year-old man is facing charges of using fake identification to get emergency money meant for Fort McMurray fire evacuees.

Calgary police Const. Melissa van Waes says the man went to a centre set up by the Alberta government to give debit cards to people who had to flee their homes in northeastern Alberta due to a massive forest fire earlier this month.

The officer says a Service Alberta worker noticed something when the man produced identification and it turned out it was fake.

It was also discovered that the man had two other debit cards from another centre.

Debit cards for evacuees are loaded with $1,250 for an adult and $500 per child.

Van Waes says police are working with Service Alberta to determine whether the funds have been accessed.

Charges of fraud under $5,000 and uttering a forged document are pending against the man.

The officer says the man has no fixed address.

The Alberta government said as of Wednesday, 34,006 debit cards totalling $73.1 million had been distributed to assist 70,252 individuals.

More than 80,000 residents fled Fort McMurray on May 3 when the fire started burning homes on the edges of the city. Officials have said more than 2,400 buildings were lost but that firefighters managed to save almost 90 per cent of the oilsands capital.

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