The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

April 12, 2013

Joplin woman draws sentence in FEMA fraud

A federal judge assessed a 22-year-old Joplin woman 14 months in prison Thursday for fraudulently receiving disaster benefits after the May 22, 2011, tornado.

U.S. District Judge Greg Kays sentenced Amber N. Peters to the term without any chance of parole. Upon completion of the sentence, Peters must spend five years on supervised release. She also must repay the federal government $3,596 in restitution.

That is the amount of benefits Peters obtained through the Federal Emergency Management Agency by claiming that her home had been destroyed in the tornado that devastated Joplin and Duquesne.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri said in a news release that Peters met a FEMA inspector at the damaged property of her deceased grandmother and claimed that it had been her home.

She received $2,658 for personal property loss and $938 in rental assistance.

The U.S. attorney’s office said that as a result of her fraud, FEMA initially denied a legitimate claim filed by Peters’ aunt, who actually lived at the address. Peters pleaded guilty to the fraud Oct. 23.

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