Okolona man admits lies for FEMA storm aid

By NEMS Daily Journal

ABERDEEN – Ronnie G. Beard pleaded guilty to lying about property damaged in April 2011 storms.
Beard, 47, of Okolona, was indicted in December 2011 on two counts that he lied and embezzled money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
He claimed a residence at 586 County Road 157, Okolona, was his primary residence, when in fact it was not, the indictment stated.
Tuesday, he admitted to making a fraudulent application that the property qualified for disaster assistance.
He faces up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
His sentence date will not be set until completion of a report to guide U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock in that decision.
An Oct. 15 trial date was set for another storm damage applicant, James W. Pulliam, 62, of Mansfield, Texas, who claimed a damaged residence in Chickasaw County was his primary residence and entitled to disaster relief.