Warr documents released to Sun-Herald

GULFPORT — Brent and Laura Warr swore, under penalty of perjury, that a beachfront home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina was their primary residence when the storm hit.

The mayor and his wife signed the sworn statement on Jan. 4, 2007, before the state would award them $150,000 in federal grant money. Their residency could not be documented through public records, the statement said.

The document was included in the Warrs’ grant package, which the Mississippi Development Authority recently released to the Sun Herald based on a request for the public records. Personal information such as Social Security numbers were redacted.

Of 28,000 homeowner grants awarded, he said, only about 300 were flagged for fraud, with 58 incidents of fraud confirmed.

“It was to help those people who were stuck with a mortgage on a slab,” Youngblood said. “If you showed that this was your primary residence, that this was where your livelihood was, this was where your financials were tied up, this was your home, then you could receive a HAP grant.”

Sun-Herald 4/5/9