Georgia Man Pleads Guilty To Fraudulently Obtaining Over $ 170,000 In Unemployment Insurance Benefits | USAO-NV
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – A man from Lawrenceville, Ga. Today pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining over $ 170,000 in unemployment benefits by submitting multiple unemployment claims on behalf of others and using benefit debit cards not belonging to him.
According to court documents and confessions made in court, on September 11, 2020, Robert Devon Barber (25) and co-conspirator Keheir Jordan Parker (25, of Victorville, Calif.) Were arrested in Las Vegas for an offense to the highway code. During the traffic stop, law enforcement officials retrieved 12 California Employment Development Department (EDD) Unemployment Insurance benefit debit cards issued in the name of others, as well as ATM receipts showing debit cards were used to withdraw cash totaling $ 7,400 in Nevada and California.
At least $ 249,460 in unemployment benefits have been approved for claims associated with the 12 EDD cards recovered. Approximately $ 170,715.78 was withdrawn from the accounts associated with these 12 cards, including $ 148,400 in ATM cash withdrawals and $ 22,315.78 in purchases.
Barber pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to engage in illegal transactions with access devices. He faces a legal maximum sentence of seven and a half years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II set the sentence for February 1, 2022.
Co-accused Parker pleaded guilty in June 2021 and is awaiting sentencing.
Acting United States Attorney Christopher Chiou for the Nevada District and Special Agent in Charge Quentin Heiden of the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Labor (DOL-OIG), Los Angeles area, made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the DOL-OIG. US Assistant Prosecutor Jim Fang is pursuing the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Enforcement (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.