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Woman who worked at disaster relief agency sentenced for fraud involving Joplin tornado


SPRINGFIELD, Missouri — A woman who worked for a southwest Missouri disaster relief agency has been sentenced to prison for a fraud scheme following the deadly Joplin tornado.

The U.S. attorney's office says Herlana Latham, of Memphis, Tennessee, was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in federal prison and ordered to pay about $6,700 in restitution. She pleaded guilty earlier this year to wire fraud.

Latham formerly lived in Joplin and worked for a nonprofit organization that distributed aid to landlords who rented housing to people displaced by the May 2011 tornado. She was accused of verifying false landlord applications.

Co-defendants Christopher Smith and John Williams, both also of Memphis, pleaded guilty previously in the scheme. Williams was sentenced to eight months in prison and Smith to three years of probation.

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