Joplin woman admits post-tornado fraud

01/04/2013 7:26 AM

01/04/2013 7:26 AM

A Joplin woman has admitted defrauding the federal government out of disaster benefits following the May 2011 tornado that devastated the city.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 37-year-old Pamala Ann Shafer pleaded guilty Thursday to making false statements to the government.

Prosecutors said Shafer applied for federal help by falsely claiming her apartment had been damaged by the tornado. She also applied for temporary rental assistance, leading the federal government to authorize a payment of $938.

Shafer admitted in her plea that she didn't live at the apartment when the tornado struck. The apartment was owned by another person who didn't know her.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Shafer is the fifth person so far to plead guilty in cases of fraudulently receiving post-tornado federal benefits.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the discussion

is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service