Moore Resident Sentenced for Committing Disaster
Benefits Fraud Following May 2013 Tornado
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma –BLAKE LYNN SELF, 19, of Moore, Oklahoma, was sentenced today to serve three months in prison, 60 days in a halfway house, and 90 days home confinement for committing disaster benefits fraud in connection with the May 2013 tornados in Moore, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In addition, Self was ordered to pay $12,885.45 in restitution to FEMA and serve five years of supervised release at the conclusion of his confinement term.
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. Self was indicted in November of 2013 and charged with submitting a false claim for monetary benefits to be paid by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on June 14, 2013. Specifically, it was 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.
Self pled guilty to committing benefits fraud on January 8, 2014.
This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and was 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.