November 30, 2021


Beyond law

5 Southwest Virginia citizens plead guilty in unemployment fraud situation

BRISTOL, Va. (AP) – More southwest Virginia residents who prosecutors say conspired with dozens of other folks to file fraudulent claims for pandemic unemployment added benefits have pleaded responsible.

Patrick Payne, 43, Randall Johnson, 42, Steven Mullins Jr., 33, Curtis Mullins, 25, and Melinda Davis, 58, appeared in U.S. District Court in Abingdon over the very last two months to enter their pleas, the Bristol Herald Courier noted.

Federal prosecutors say they took part in a scheme that associated submitting claims on behalf of numerous men and women who were not qualified to obtain positive aspects, together with several prisoners at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.


“These five folks applied a meticulously orchestrated series of lies to steal hundreds of 1000’s of dollars supposed for Virginians having difficulties all through a the moment-in-a-technology global health pandemic,” performing U.S. Lawyer Daniel P. Bubar of the western district of Virginia stated in a news launch.

In all, the conspiracy submitted fraudulent statements for about 37 people today, triggering at minimum $499,000 in untrue statements to be paid, according to the news launch. So significantly, 19 people have pleaded guilty.

The sum compensated out in the case signifies just a little portion of the above $14 billion in benefits the Virginia Work Fee stated it had distributed as of mid-August.

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