Watch CBS News

Metro Detroit woman pleads guilty to stealing $300K in COVID-19 unemployment funds

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Dec. 6, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for Dec. 6, 2023 04:00

(CBS DETROIT) - A Metro Detroit woman pleaded guilty to defrauding the state of more than $300,000 in unemployment insurance benefits made available during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Katrina Maddox, 47, of Southfield, entered her guilty plea on the charge of wire fraud Tuesday afternoon. 

According to the United States Attorney's Office Eastern District of Michigan, Maddox filed about 65 fraudulent unemployment insurance claims to get unemployment assistance that was available during the pandemic. This started as early as April 2020 and lasted at least Sept. 2021.

The claims were made using multiple individuals' names, Social Security numbers and personal information without consent.

The funds were distributed through debit cards, and Maddox used them at ATMs to retrieve the money. 

"Katrina Maddox engaged in an unemployment insurance fraud scheme targeted at the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency by filing false UI claims in the names of identity theft victims to obtain debit cards containing stolen UI benefits. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard the UI system from those who exploit these benefit programs," said Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge, Great Lakes Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.  

 Her sentencing is scheduled for April 25, 2024. 

She faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for this crime.

In addition, according to her plea agreement, she must pay $311,440 in restitution. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.