United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Reggie Lee Wimbush, 38, of Shelby, N.C., was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Max O. Cogburn, Jr. to serve 57 months in prison for unemployment insurance fraud and related offenses, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Judge Cogburn also ordered Wimbush to pay $284,831 in restitution to the North Carolina Department of Commerce - Division of Employment Security.
U.S. Attorney Tompkins is joined in making today’s announcement by Richard L. Walker, Special Agent in Charge for the Atlanta, Georgia Region of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG), Office of Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations.
Wimbush and his co-conspirator, Jeffrey Glenn, were charged in August 2011 with wire fraud, mail fraud, theft of public money, identity theft and aggravated identity theft stemming from an unemployment insurance fraud scheme. According to filed documents and court proceedings, Wimbush and Glenn devised and executed a scheme to fraudulently obtain money to which they were not entitled from the Unemployment Insurance Program.
The purpose of this program is to provide cash payments to unemployed workers to cover life’s necessities such as food, shelter and clothing, while they seek for other employment. Unemployment insurance benefits are disbursed either as debit Mastercard cards mailed to claimants or through direct deposits to the claimants’ bank accounts. These debit cards can be used at any point-of-sale terminal or at automated teller machines (ATMs) where Mastercard is accepted.
Court records show that from May 2009 to July 2011, Wimbush and Glenn filed numerous unemployment insurance claims using the identity of others, most of whom were the victims of identity theft. Wimbush and Glenn stole over $284,000 through this unemployment insurance fraud scheme. The defendants expended the fraudulently obtained benefits through use of the debit cards issued based on the fraudulent unemployment insurance claims filed by Wimbush and Glenn. Wimbush pleaded guilty to the charges in December 2011.
Wimbush, who was initially released on bond in August 2011, has been in custody since September 14, 2011, following his violation of bond conditions. Glenn also pleaded guilty to the charges and has been in custody since August 2011. A sentencing date for Glenn has not been set yet.
The investigation was handled by DOL-OIG. This case has been prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom O’Malley of the Western District of North Carolina.