Eight Missouri residents face federal charges for alleged fraud

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Fraud on Tuesday, May 22, 2012

After a tragic tornado struck Missouri last May, residents were able to file applications with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to receive disaster relief benefits. In order to receive benefits, their homes or property must have been damaged or destroyed by the storm. Last week, eight Missouri residents were accused of fraudulently filing these applications to receive a portion of the disaster relief funding. A federal grand jury indicted the eight individuals earlier this month, and the indictment was released eight days later. All eight people are facing federal fraud charges.

When individuals are accused of committing white collar crimes or charged with fraud, it is important for them to know that they are not required to talk to the authorities. Under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution they have the right to remain silent. People are also allowed to request counsel. Both of these rights must be honored by authorities upon the request of the accused.

Many criminal sentences involve prison time and monetary fines, but the consequences of a conviction for fraud could forever impact an individual’s life. A person’s punishment will likely depend on the nature and severity of the crime. However, a felony conviction could impact an individual’s future employment and even their ability to find a home.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will be familiar with the federal laws regarding fraud and white collar crimes. Although the potential penalties may be harsh, attorneys are sometimes able to negotiate reduced sentences. They will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for the accused.

Source: The Joplin Globe, “Eight indicted for disaster relief fraud,” May 16, 2012