Quantcast

Joplin men sentenced for disaster fraud - KOAM TV 7

Joplin men sentenced for disaster fraud

Updated:

Updated January 14, 2014:  NEWS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two Joplin, Mo., men have been sentenced in federal court, in separate and unrelated cases, for fraudulently receiving federal disaster benefits following the May 22, 2011 tornado. 

Andy Eric Brownlee, 32, and Leslie Lynn Williams, 54, both of Joplin, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. Brownlee and Williams were each sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Brownlee to pay $2,750 in restitution and ordered Williams to pay $1,196 in restitution.

On Aug. 5, 2013, Brownlee pleaded guilty to making materially fraudulent statements and representations to FEMA in connection with his application for disaster assistance. Brownlee completed a FEMA application for disaster assistance on May 26, 2011, claiming that his Joplin residence had been damaged by the tornado. Brownlee received a payment of $2,750. However, Brownlee admitted that the address he used in his FEMA application was actually the address of the Lazarus Ministries Halfway house, which was not his residence at the time of the tornado. Brownlee previously resided there, but moved out prior to the tornado.

Williams pleaded guilty on March 8, 2013, to making materially fraudulent statements and representations to FEMA in connection with his application for disaster assistance. Williams admitted that when he filed for disaster relief on May 27, 2011, he listed a Joplin address as his primary residence and claimed that it had been damaged by the tornado. FEMA authorized a $1,196 payment to Williams. Williams admitted, however, that he was not living at that address at the time of the tornado, but had moved out in February 2011.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. They were investigated by the U.S. Department Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG), the FBI and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

# # #

 

Posted August 5, 2013:  NEWS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to fraudulently receiving federal disaster benefits following the May 22, 2011 tornado.

Andy Eric Brownlee, 31, of Joplin, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in a Dec. 13, 2012, federal indictment.

By pleading guilty today, Brownlee admitted that he knowingly made materially fraudulent statements and representations to FEMA in connection with his application for disaster assistance.

Brownlee completed a FEMA application for disaster assistance on May 26, 2011, claiming that his Joplin residence had been damaged by the tornado. Brownlee received a payment of $2,750. However, Brownlee admitted today that the address he used in his FEMA application was actually the address of the Lazarus Ministries Halfway house, which was not his residence at the time of the tornado. Brownlee previously resided there, but moved out prior to the tornado.

Under federal statutes, Brownlee is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigation - 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.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Lawmakers in Missouri may end helmet law

    Lawmakers in Missouri may end helmet law

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:56 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:56:13 GMT
    Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul.That saying is true to Noah Whitehead a rider, and sales associate at Powersports of JoplinMore >>
    Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul.That saying is true to Noah Whitehead a rider, and sales associate at Powersports of JoplinMore >>
  • Joplin School"s Plan to Build a Preschool/Daycare center has Private Preschool Operators Worried

    Joplin School"s Plan to Build a Preschool/Daycare center has Private Preschool Operators Worried

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:32:25 GMT
    The Joplin school district is beginning to seek building plans for a new nine-to 14-million dollar preschool and daycare center. The push for more early learning can create competition for those already in the preschool business. State law now only requires students to go to school at kindergarten age but many believe learning begins much earlier. And the Missouri house and senate are both considering bills to reimburse districts for some students taking pre-kindergarten classes. Preschool...More >>
    The Joplin school district is beginning to seek building plans for a new nine-to 14-million dollar preschool and daycare center. The push for more early learning can create competition for those already in the preschool business. State law now only requires students to go to school at kindergarten age but many believe learning begins much earlier. And the Missouri house and senate are both considering bills to reimburse districts for some students taking pre-kindergarten classes. Preschool...More >>
  • Woman charged after shooting her neighbor

    Woman charged after shooting her neighbor

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:05:18 GMT
    Charges are filed today after a neighbor dispute sent one man to the hospital with a gunshot wound. Jennifer Crouch, 30, is facing three separate charges: assault in the second-degree, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon.More >>
    Charges are filed today after a neighbor dispute sent one man to the hospital with a gunshot wound. Jennifer Crouch, 30, is facing three separate charges: assault in the second-degree, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.