Destructive Fraud

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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.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Oklahoma Man Takes Advantage of FEMA, Sentenced to Prison,” written by Dallas Franklin and published on KFOR.com on April 9, 2014.

MOORE, Okla. – A Moore resident who allegedly committed disaster benefits fraud in connection with the May 2013 tornado was sentenced today.

Blake Self, 19, was sentenced to serve three months in prison, 60 days in a halfway house, and 90 days home confinement.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.