Thursday, December 8, 2022

‘Til Jail Do Us Part

Some fraudsters are blinded by greed, some by love, and others by both. That seems to be the case for a Virginia Beach couple who pleaded guilty to running a nationwide counterfeit coupon fraud scheme that federal prosecutors say cost retailers and manufacturers nearly...

Expiration Date

While pandemic unemployment benefits are set to expire on September 6, 2021, fraud cases are sure to continue for many months and even years to come. According to the Department of Labor, almost 13 million people were still collecting jobless aid by mid-July, with...

Turning Point

A turning point is typically described as a time when an important change in a situation occurs, usually one that has beneficial results. Today’s fraud story definitely had a turning point, but there were no benefits reaped by Lopez Scott, 46, of Portsmouth, Va....

Pandemic Perpetrators

Melissa Hayes, 51, of Bristol, Tenn., was sentenced for conspiring to file for nearly $500,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits she was not entitled to. Hayes worked with others to commit unemployment fraud by filing claims through the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC). The team of conspirators...

You’ve Been Warned

Katrina Lynch, 39, of Texas, has been sentenced to serve 50 months in prison for defrauding Virginia Medicaid out of nearly $3 million. (For some Medicaid fraudsters, that’s just pocket change.) Lynch owned a home healthcare service company, A Tender Heart, LLC, where she enrolled...

Couple by Day, Fraudsters by Night

Gregory Marcus Tackett, 28, of Pound, Va., was sentenced for fraudulently filing for more than $499,000 in unemployment benefits he was not entitled to. (Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered ample opportunity for unscrupulous individuals to jump into the fraud game.) Tackett admitted to conspiring...

For Better or For Worse, but Mostly Worse

Farren Ricketts, 30, of Lee County, Va., pleaded guilty to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft for carrying out a pandemic-related unemployment fraud scheme. According to court documents, Ricketts conspired with others to file claims for pandemic-related unemployment benefits. Apparently, Ricketts filed claims for individuals...

Mother of the Year

A Carroll County, Va., woman has pleaded guilty to Supplemental Security Income fraud after receiving disability benefits for which she was not entitled. Jessica Lynn Hawks, 37, lied to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration for more than two years. Hawks admitted that from...

Scheming on the Outside Leads to Being on the Inside

A woman from Glen Allen, Va., recently pleaded guilty to mail fraud after working to obtain unemployment benefits for prison inmates. Virginia Smith, 37, was the ringleader in a scheme to obtain pandemic-related unemployment benefits for 22 individuals behind bars. Smith and an inmate at...

It Wasn’t Me

A man from Southwest Virginia has pleaded guilty to taking part in a pandemic unemployment benefits scheme that defrauded the government of more than $182,474. Travis Kilgore of Wise waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty Thursday to a two-count Information charging...
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