Updated September 5, 2013 - NEWS RELEASE ISSUED SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 BY THE OFFICE OF THE U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
JOPLIN MAN SENTENCED FOR DISASTER FRAUD IN FAILED ATTEMPT TO GET TORNADO BENEFITS
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for disaster fraud and making false statements to FEMA in a failed attempt to get federal disaster benefits following the May 22, 2011 tornado.
Scott Bradley Olsen, 58, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 18 months in federal prison without parole, followed by two years of supervised release.
Olsen was convicted of two counts of a federal indictment in a trial that concluded on April 23, 2013.
Olsen originally filed for disaster assistance on May 26, 2011, claiming a Joplin residence was his secondary residence where he stored property that was damaged in the tornado, but FEMA found him ineligible for disaster assistance. After being denied, Olsen twice submitted documents to FEMA in an attempt to prove that the property was his primary residence. Olsen was again denied assistance on July 27, 2011.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, the FBI and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.
Disaster Fraud Hotline
Anyone with information about disaster fraud related to the Joplin tornado should call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 866-720-5721, the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131, or the FBI's Joplin office at 417-206-5700.
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Posted April 24, 2013: A federal jury convicts a Joplin man of disaster fraud after two failed attempts to get disaster benefits after the May 2011 tornado.
A jury convicted Scott Olsen on Tuesday of both disaster fraud and for making false statements.
The 58-year-old had filed for disaster assistance in the days after the tornado, first claiming aid for a secondary residence and later stating the damaged home was his primary residence.
Olsen was denied assistance on both occasions and now faces a potential sentence of up to 35 years in prison plus a $500,000 fine.