Ridgeland woman pleads guilty to unemployment insurance benefit fraud – picayune item


Jackson, Mississippi – A woman from Ridgeland has pleaded guilty to theft of public funds involving unemployment insurance benefit fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and U.S. Secret Service Resident Agent in Charge Shawn said. Wolfe.

According to court documents, in May 2020, it was discovered that Washington state unemployment insurance benefits had been deposited into the bank account of Judith Ann Middleton, 71, of Ridgeland. The investigation into these benefits revealed that they were filed on behalf of other people. Unemployment insurance benefits were subsidized by the federal government through the CARES Act in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Middleton is expected to be sentenced on November 18, 2021 and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. A Federal District Judge will determine any sentence after reviewing US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

The US secret service investigated the case. US Deputy Prosecutors Meghan M. McCalla and William Dieters continued the case.

This case is being prosecuted by the National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Working Group (NUIFTF) of the Ministry of Justice. In response to the unprecedented scale of unemployment insurance (UI) fraud, the Department of Justice created the NUIFTF. The NUIFTF is a multi-agency, prosecutor-led task force made up of representatives from the FBI, DOL-OIG, IRS-CI, HSI, DHS-OIG, USPIS, USSS , SSA-OIG, FDIC-OIG and other agencies. NUIFTF members work with state labor agencies, financial institutions and other law enforcement partners across the country to tackle unemployment insurance fraud , and consumers must be vigilant against these threats and take appropriate measures to protect themselves.

The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization that expands the ability of states to provide unemployment insurance to many workers affected by COVID-19, including for workers who are not normally eligible for unemployment benefits. unemployment insurance.

Anyone with information about an attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF online complaint form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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