Galveston brothers embroiled in fight over FEMA money

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 20, 2011, 3:35am


GALVESTON - Galveston County resident Michael Freshour alleges his brother "maliciously" took $11,000 of his Federal Emergency Management Agency aid money.

A lawsuit filed Nov. 30 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 asserts George E. Freshour acquired the funds in question without his sibling's permission.

According to the original petition, Michael Freshour is a disabled veteran currently living in a FEMA mobile home.

The plaintiff resided in his family home for 40 years until it was destroyed during Hurricane Ike in September 2008.

He has paid all costs associated with the home until the storm, the suit says.

Michael Freshour requested assistance from FEMA to rebuild the residence, and in turn, received $18,426.49.

The money was placed in an account which the complainant opened and tasked his brother with joint holder responsibilities, however, the defendant allegedly siphoned 60 percent of the funds, the suit says.

It adds Michael Freshour attempted to recoup the missing amount to no avail.

"The plaintiff has repeatedly requested the defendant return the money and the defendant continues to refuse to return the money to the plaintiff," the original petition says.

Michael Freshour further claims the defendant "maliciously" refuses to assist the plaintiff in obtaining additional assistance from Galveston County on a Community Development Block Grant application.

"The plaintiff's several attempts to communicate with the defendant have gone unanswered," the suit says.

"This refusal by the defendant has resulted in the plaintiff being unable to have his home rebuilt and denying the plaintiff the right to his property, to wit his home."

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Duana Boswell-Loechel of Galveston is representing Michael Freshour.

Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 Judge Christopher Dupuy is presiding over the case.

Cause No. 66,440

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