Two women charged with faking state fair claims

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Two Indianapolis women were charged Tuesday with making false claims to try to collect money from funds intended for victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

Stephanie Murry, 25, and Sandra Hurn, 38, were charged with forgery, attempted theft and perjury, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. Hurn also was charged with theft.

"It is particularly troubling that individuals would attempt to illegally profit upon a tragedy such as the State Fair stage collapse," Curry said in a prepared statement. "We have zero tolerance for those who wish to gain at the misfortune of others."

Murry's attorney, Doug Kowalski, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Hurn had no attorney or listed phone number. Delaney said Murry remained in jail Tuesday, while Hurn was free on bond. Murry could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted, while Hurn could face 36 years, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Authorities said the women each submitted claims totaling $22,500 to a private relief fund and the state tort claim fund. Both funds are administered by the Indiana attorney general's office.

Prosecutors said both women submitted falsified hospital records detailing injuries they claimed to have suffered when high winds swept the fairgrounds Aug. 13 before the country duo Sugarland was due to perform and toppled stage rigging onto a crowd. Seven people were killed and dozens more injured.

Prosecutor's office spokeswoman Brienne Delaney said neither Murry nor Hurn is believed to have attended the concert.

The Star reported that officials told both women they would receive money from the tort claim fund. Instead, Hurn was arrested when she went to pick up her check, and Murry was arrested a short time later.


  • compassion
    These two women have no compassion for the hurt,and those who lost their life. It is so sad that they are allow to face others who have compassion, and feel the heavy hurt that these family are carrying. I agree they should recieve the full amount of punishment for disregarding life for greed.
  • A fair penalty??
    It seems to me that these women are probably very poor and saw an opportunity to get something for free. Fourteen and 36 years seems a little harsh for their penalty. Whereas someone like Durham may get just a slap on the wrist and Charlie White, who is responsible for voter fraud, and without a doubt committed voter fraud, will also get off. Who knows how much money he has misappropriated from public funds along the way. I'm truly sorry these two women thought they should try to steal money from this accident but the costs of their actions seems way out of line. Well I have not included any of our major elected officials who have used their offices and influence to make themselves rich. But so it goes.
  • Entitlement
    Hey guys, I may have made a mistake a few years back.....
  • Handout Culture
    It seems all to common these days. People wanting a handout with no work. It's nearly a culture all of it's own these days and it seems that those begging to given what, in their minds, is their fair share are beginning to out number those willing to work. The workers have been working hard to provide for their own families and the families of this "GIVE me what I deserve culture" that has been growing in this country.

    It is my opinion that it is a time for CHANGE and the first change being cutting way back on hand outs.

    Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day.
    Teach a man to fish and he'll feed himself for life.

    Teach a lazy "handout deserver" how to fish and if they refuse to expend the effort, let them go hungry.
  • Scum of the Earth
    These 2 animals SHOULD have been in the State Fair collapse - under the scaffolding. Pathetic excuses for human beings.
  • Nice Catch!
    At least they got caught before they had a chance to blow the money. Those two couldn't make restitution if they had the rest of their lives to pay it back.

    They probably figured it would be a piece of cake to scam the government since it happens so often.

    It looks like they're keeping a close eye on the distribution of the funds, since there is a $5MM cap on damages, at least as far as the state is concerned.
  • Horrible, sad and desperate
    How terribly sad and desperate. Had they been in New York city 10 years ago they would have tried to prey on the 911 victims funds. And what other frauds have they been involved with?
  • Shame and Forgiveness
    We once had shame, and shame's eternal twin, guilt. Because of the removal of the moral compass from the sinking ship that is our society, we are, all of us, strapped to a vehicle that is on fire and halfway down the steep embankment, steadily gaining speed. It will eventually take America's life, unless we do something. I am a teacher, and I now teach in a very special place, with highly-intelligent, morally sound children. I did not always have such an environment to teach in, and those lessons are imprinted as worry-lines upon my forehead. I vividly recall acts and actions by my former students that showed absolutely no remorse, no guilt, and shame? Beyond Greek. I'm blessed to be where I am, but what about the rest of the teachers struggling with parents who act like this? What lessons will these women pass on to the next generation?

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