Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said Thursday that the latest arrests bring to 245 the number of people his office has charged with defrauding charities and government agencies helping victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
He said about $3.6 million has been paid in fraudulent claims and very little of it has been recovered.
Morgenthau said the defendants included 16 homeless people who claimed that they lost their homes after the terrorist attack when in fact they continued to live at a lower Manhattan shelter. They received $62,857, he said.
Five defendants were government employees, including a police department 911 operator who received $9,366. Morgenthau said four other defendants filed bogus applications for death certificates.
The 33 defendants were charged variously with third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, falsifying business records, and offering false instruments for filing. They face up to seven years in prison if convicted.
By SAMUEL MAULL