Iowa man sentenced to federal prison for his role in COVID-19 unemployment insurance fraud | USAO-NDIA
A man who used his credit union account to collect Washington state unemployment insurance money he was not entitled to was sentenced on July 1, 2021 to federal prison.
Jerry D. Johnson, 54, of Webster City, Iowa, was sentenced to jail after pleading guilty on January 28, 2021 to one count of mail fraud.
Information provided during Johnson’s plea and sentencing hearings showed that in May 2020, Johnson’s credit union account received over $ 31,000 in Washington state unemployment funds. on behalf of others. He then withdrew the cash benefits and sent the money through the United States Postal Service to others involved in the program. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts later attempted to deposit more than $ 20,000 in fraudulent unemployment benefits into Johnson’s account. The credit union recognized the transaction as fraudulent and returned the money.
Johnson was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Justice Leonard T. Strand. Johnson was sentenced to eight months in prison. He was ordered to pay $ 31,062 in restitution to Washington State. He must also serve a two-year sentence of supervised release after the prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.
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 responsible for 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 Ministry’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF online complaint form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Johnson has been released on the previously set bail and is due to report to the Jail Office on a date yet to be determined.
The case was continued by Assistant United States Attorney Morfitt and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General.
Information on the Court’s file at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The file number is 20-CR-3027.
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