Conn. man charged over Mass. tornado fraud

In this May 10, 2012 photo, Pia Rogers poses in the rubble of what was her home in Monson, Mass., a year after a tornado blew through central Massachusetts and devastated her town. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
In this May 10, 2012 photo, Pia Rogers poses in the rubble of what was her home in Monson, Mass., a year after a tornado blew through central Massachusetts and devastated her town. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A federal grand jury in Connecticut has returned an indictment charging a 41-year-old man with fraudulently securing federal assistance by claiming that he was a victim of a series of tornadoes that killed four people and destroyed more than 1,400 homes in central and western Massachusetts.

Federal prosecutors in Connecticut allege Robbie Rossi, a former Massachusetts resident, obtained more than $12,000 in federal disaster relief by falsely claiming that he lived at a west Springfield home damaged by the June 1, 2011 storm.

Prosecutors say Rossi provided the federal Emergency Management Agency with false documents of rent payments he claimed to have paid after the storm.

He was arrested on Jan. 14 in Las Vegas and is awaiting transportation to Connecticut to face two counts of mail fraud.

It was not immediately clear if Rossi has an attorney.

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