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Press Release

Former Moore Resident Who Sought Benefits Following May Tornado Is Charged With Disaster Benefits Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – A federal grand jury has indicted IRA ROBERT SCHILLING, 42, a former resident of Moore, Oklahoma, for committing disaster benefits fraud and making false statements 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 16, 2013, Schilling signed a Department of Air Force memorandum requesting evacuation allowances and benefits on behalf of his dependents. In that memorandum, it is alleged, Schilling certified that after a May 20, 2013, storm he evacuated from a home in Moore, Oklahoma, and that he and two of his dependents were residing at the Safe Haven location in Norman, Oklahoma. Specifically, it is alleged that Schilling falsely submitted a travel voucher to the Air Force for costs associated with his relocation from Moore to Norman when he knew that no such costs had been incurred for a dependent-associated relocation. In addition, it is alleged that Schilling sent an email to the Air Force falsely claiming entitlement to extended Safe Haven benefits, including per diem payments, when he knew that he was not entitled to receive those benefits.

If convicted, Schilling 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 each 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. Air Force Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Hale.

Updated December 15, 2014