HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana man has been sentenced to just under three years in prison for stealing more than $12,000 in federal disaster aid by submitting faked documents to the government.
The Times of Munster reports that 44-year-old Christopher Spears was sentenced Friday. He entered a guilty plea in November in which he admitted the theft from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That plea came two months after a Lake County jury convicted Spears of aggravated identity theft, producing false documents, fraud and other charges.
Prosecutors said Spears manufactured half a year's worth of monthly rental payments and bogus hotel receipts to give to the federal agency to claim disaster aid in the wake of a flood.
Spears' attorney says his client committed the crimes to pay for his drug addiction.
Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com