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Stage collapse fraud scheme charges filed

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A makeshift memorial appeared outside the grandstand following this summer's stage collapse. - REBECCA TOWNSEND
  • Rebecca Townsend
  • A makeshift memorial appeared outside the grandstand following this summer's stage collapse.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry filed charges Tuesday against two women accused of making false claims to the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund and the Indiana Tort Claim Fund.

Stephanie Murry and Sandra Hurn allegedly claimed they were injured in the Aug. 13 collapse of the stage in front of the grandstand at the Indiana State Fair, according to a news release from the prosecutor's office. Seven people died and nearly 60 were injured. The women allegedly falsified hospital records to be eligible to file claims with both funds. The claims totaled $22,500.

Hurn received $7,500 from the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund, which is funded solely by donations. Murry's claim was denied by the fund when her alleged injuries did not meet its req uirements.

Hurn and Murry also submitted claims to the Indiana Tort Claim Fund, which is administered by the Indiana Attorney General's office. The women were notified they would receive money from the fund, but Hurn was arrested when she when to pick up the claim check. Murry was arrested later.

"It is particularly troubling that individuals would attempt to illegally profit upon a tragedy such as the State Fair stage collapse," Curry said in the news release. "We have zero tolerance for those who wish to gain at the misfortune of others. I also want to thank Attorney General Greg Zoeller and his office for their cooperation and assistance throughout this investigation. We will not stand idly by while greedy individuals take from those who are truly deserving of compensation from this tragedy."

Murry has been charged with one count of forgery, one count of perjury and one count of attempted theft. Hurn has been charged with three counts of forgery, two counts of perjury, one count of theft and one count of attempted theft. The maximum penalty both women could face for the most serious charges is eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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