Tampa Men Sentenced For Fraud And Identity Theft In COVID Benefits Conspiracy

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Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Kathryn Mizelle has sentenced Kary Stevenson (47) and Corey Quinn (35), both of Tampa, for conspiracy to commit access device fraud and aggravated identity theft related to COVID unemployment insurance benefits. Stevenson was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in federal prison and Quinn was sentenced to 7 years in federal prison. As part of their sentence, the court also ordered Stevenson and Quinn to pay $87,046 in restitution to the various state workforce agencies they defrauded.

Stevenson and Quinn had pleaded guilty on September 21, 2021.

According to court documents, 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 cause the submission of, false and fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) claims to various state workforce agencies, in order to obtain UI benefits to which they were not entitled. 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, or 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 determined that Stevenson and Quinn submitted fraudulent UI claims seeking a total of over $1,000,000, but they only obtained $87,046 before they were caught.

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

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 Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

This case was investigated by the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, the United States Secret Service, and the Tampa Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory D. Pizzo and John Cannizzaro.

 

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