Woman Avoids Prison After Fraudulently Receiving Mannford Wildfire Benefits
5/2/2014: Related Story: Mannford Woman Pleads Guilty To Cheating FEMA Out Of Wildfire Funds
According to the plea agreement, from August 23, 2012 to September 23, 2013, Rowell made false statements and provided false documents to support her application for FEMA disaster assistance. She claimed the wildfires destroyed her primary residence and personal property, including appliances and televisions. Prosecutors said she did not live there and the personal property was not in the residence.
The house was actually owned by her mother and was empty, dilapidated and had no utility service.
Rowell received $31,400 in FEMA disaster assistance benefits, which she has to pay back as part of her plea agreement.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General and the United States Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles M. McLoughlin prosecuted on behalf of the United States.