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Feds: Michigan UIA contractor steals more than $550K in fraud, identity theft

CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for May 3, 2023
CBS News Detroit Digital Brief for May 3, 2023 02:15

(CBS DETROIT) - A contract worker with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency pleaded guilty to stealing more than $550,000 in fraud and identity theft.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 30-year-old Autumn Mims, of Detroit, used insider access to process claims in the names of other people without their knowledge in August 2020. Mims also conducted cash withdrawals and financial transactions using unemployment insurance assistance funds.

"Far from being unemployed as she claimed, Autumn Mims worked hard to abuse her position with the State of Michigan and steal taxpayer money. My office and our law enforcement partners are committed to working even harder to ensure that Mims and others who choose to engage in similar frauds are held fully accountable," U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said in a statement.

Mims admitted to the fraud, mentioning that she falsely obtained benefits by claiming she was unemployed, according to a press release.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 6. Mims faces a mandatory two-year sentence for identity theft as well as up to 20 years for conspiring in wire fraud.

"It's especially galling when someone employed by UIA and who was entrusted in a time of statewide crisis with helping the residents of Michigan instead violates that trust to satisfy her own greed," UIA Director Julia Dale said in a statement. "Let this case put bad actors on notice: We will continue to work with law enforcement at the local, state, and federal level and use every tool we have to see that justice is served. That is our pledge as we strive to transform the UIA into a national model for fraud-free, fair and fast service."

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