The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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July 9, 2012

Three Joplin residents plead guilty to tornado fraud

JOPLIN, Mo. — Three Joplin residents have pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently receiving federal disaster benefits in the aftermath of the tornado on May 22, 2011.

Wanda G. McBride, 51, pleaded guilty today at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Springfield. Ronald M. Irby, 30, and Karen M. Parks, 37, pleaded guilty on Friday.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri, all three defendants applied for and received benefits through the Federal Emergency Management Agency by falsely claiming their homes and property were destroyed or damaged by the tornado.

The defendants could receive up to 30 years in prison without parole and a fine up to $250,000. Their sentencing hearings will be scheduled following completion of presentence investigations.


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