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(NEWSER) – After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast nearly two years ago, the federal government quickly sent out $1.4 billion in emergency disaster aid to the hurricane's victims. Now, thousands of people might have to pay back their share. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is scrutinizing about 4,500 households that it suspects received improper payments after the storm, according to program officials and data obtained by the AP through a public records request.

As of early this month, FEMA had asked around 850 of those households to return a collective $5.8 million; the other cases were still under review. FEMA's campaign to recover overpayments typically involves inadvertent violations of eligibility rules, bureaucratic mistakes, or missing documentation rather than outright fraud.

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