Joplin residents indicted for disaster fraud

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | 1:13 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD — Seven Joplin residents and a Laclede County man are facing federal fraud charges over requests for Federal Emergency Management Agency aid after the deadly May 2011 tornado.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Springfield announced the separate grand jury indictments on Wednesday. Each of the defendants is accused of falsely claiming damage to their homes or property in FEMA applications for disaster benefits.

Those charged are Karen Marie Parks, Ronald Martell Irby, Amber Nicole Peters, Scott Bradley Olsen, Wanda Gail McBride and Pamala Ann Shafer, of Joplin, and Valerie Ann Jay, a former Joplin resident who now lives in Borger, Texas. The eighth defendant is Shane D. Ellis of Lebanon.

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