Joplin man sentenced for tornado aid fraud

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Joplin man who lied to the federal government about damage to his home from the May 2011 tornado is going to federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 36-year-old Dustin Joe Showalter was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison without parole. He was also ordered to pay $938 in restitution to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Showalter received $938 in federal disaster benefits based on an application to FEMA claiming tornado damage at an address where he didn’t live.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to making false statements to the government.

Showalter was among several people prosecuted for disaster-aid fraud after the tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011. The tornado killed more than 160 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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