GATLINBURG, TN. - Local authorities are wrapping up a fraud investigation tied to November’s wildfires in Sevier County, 10News has learned.
Federal authorities also are aware of the probe regarding false claims for monetary reimbursement, including to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
Several people are facing prosecution, a source close to the case tells 10News.
The Dollywood Foundation has been cooperating with investigators for several months.
The investigation does not involve any employees of the Dollywood Foundation, according to spokesman Pete Owens.
Owens tells 10News the foundation “will continue to cooperate as the case is adjudicated.”
Gatlinburg Police Detective Rodney Burns has been a key investigator in the case, 10News has learned.
Fires on Nov. 28 swept into Gatlinburg and erupted elsewhere in Sevier County that led to the deaths of 14 people and damaged or destroyed some 2,500 buildings.
Hundreds of people lost homes. Some also lost their jobs.
State and federal emergency management relief agencies stepped in to help, making millions of dollars available to help victims.
Local groups including the Dollywood Foundation also made money available to victims, based on their applications for help.
Recovery efforts are ongoing in Gatlinburg and elsewhere in Sevier County.
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