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Joplin residents indicted for disaster fraud

(UPI/Rick Meyer)
Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo. pictured here on May 23, 2011, following a devastating tornado that ripped through the town.

Seven Joplin residents and a Laclede County man are facing federal fraud charges over requests for FEMA 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 Federal Emergency Management Agency 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, all 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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