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Oklahoma resident behind bars after taking advantage of tornado victims’ benefits

Prison overcrowding

OKLAHOMA CITY –  A Moore resident is being sentenced to serve jail time after taking advantage of Moore tornado victims’ benefits.

19-year-old Blake Lynn Self, of Moore, Oklahoma, has been sentenced 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 tornadoes in Moore, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

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 a victim’s home, in Moore, when in fact it was not his residence at that time.

Self pled guilty to committing benefits fraud on January 8, 2014.