Nearly one year ago, a devastating tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, leaving a path of destruction and death in its 17-mile wake. While many residents were picking up the pieces after the disaster, KFOR.com reports that there was one young man who took advantage of the demise of others and tried to bilk the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of disaster benefits he did not deserve.
The article states that the area struck by the tornado was declared a “major disaster” and the payment of benefits was authorized. A 19-year-old man submitted a false claim to FEMA approximately one month after the tornado struck regarding the home he claimed to be his primary residence at that time. (In reality, the destroyed home was not his primary residence.)
This fraudster pleaded guilty to committing benefits fraud and was sentenced to three months in prison. He will also serve 60 days in a halfway house, 90 days of home confinement, pay nearly $13,000 in restitution to FEMA and serve five years of supervised release following home confinement.
FEMA designates benefits to those unfortunate citizens, who actually experience catastrophic events that leave them without food, shelter and other resources necessary for daily living. Let’s hope the punishment in this case will catch this young man’s attention and prevent him from committing any fraudulent behavior in the future.