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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 14, 2013

Indictment Unsealed Charging Moore Resident With Disaster Benefits Fraud Following May Tornado

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – A federal grand jury indictment was unsealed today charging BLAKE LYNN SELF, 18, of Moore, Oklahoma, with committing disaster benefits fraud in connection with a claim for benefits following the May 2013 tornados in Moore, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

Under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the May 20, 2013, tornado affecting Cleveland County was declared a major disaster and the payment of disaster benefits was authorized. The indictment alleges that on June 14, 2013, Self submitted a false claim for monetary benefits to be paid by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Specifically, it is alleged that Self claimed to a FEMA inspector that his primary residence at the time of the May 20, 2013, tornado, was 916 S.W. 14th Street, in Moore, when in fact it was not his residence at that time.

If convicted, Self faces up to 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and payment of restitution. The public is reminded that the indictment is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Reference is made to the indictment for further information.

This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Maxfield Green.

The public may report suspected disaster benefits fraud by contacting the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (www.oig.dhs.gov or by calling toll free 1-800-323-8603) or by calling the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721.