TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Kary Stevenson (47) and Corey Quinn (35), both of Tampa, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Each faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy count and a consecutive two years' imprisonment for the aggravated identity count.
According to the plea agreements, from approximately May 2020 and continuing until August 12, 2020, Stevenson and Quinn obtained the personal identifying information of others and used that information to submit, or caused to be submitted, false and fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims to various state workforce agencies to obtain UI benefits. These UI benefits were then transferred to bank accounts or loaded onto debits cards issued in the names of other persons. Stevenson and Quinn then used, and attempted to use, the fraudulently obtained debit cards to withdraw money from ATMs and to purchase items from retail establishments. The U.S. Department of Labor calculated the total intended loss from Stevenson and Quinn's fraudulent UI claims was approximately $1,010,353.
In March 2020, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which expanded states' ability to provide UI for many workers impacted by COVID-19, including for workers who were not ordinarily eligible for benefits.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department's response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus
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