There’s horrible, there’s despicable, and then there’s the latest story to emerge from the sincerely tragic stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair over the summer: Two women who have sued for compensation for injuries incurred in that incident were allegedly not injured at all—or even present at the site of the collapse.
Seven people died as a result of the accident, while dozens more faced debilitating injuries. A handful of lawsuits have emerged in an attempt to assign culpability, including one levied at Surgarland, who were about to take the stage when high winds overtook the structure.
So it’s a little sickening that investigators have charged self-proclaimed victims Stephanie Murry and Sandra Hurn with fraud. Though the women were seeking compensation funds, a prosecutor in Indianapolis declared that neither were actually on the grounds that day, and were merely trying to bilk the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund and the Indiana Tort Claim Fund.
According to local officials, both women made multiple hospital trips in an effort to create a proper paper trail that would back up their claims. When investigators realized that some of the documentation was falsified, Hurn copped to the scheme, which the pair plotted together a few hours after the initial disaster.
Murry faces charges of attempted theft, forgery, and perjury, all felonies which could land her in jail for up to 14 years. Since Hurn actually succeeded in collecting a $7,500 check from the Remembrance Fund, she picks up a charge of felony theft that raises her potential prison stint up to 36 years.
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