News and Press Releases

North Myrtle Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2013

Contact Person: Beth Drake (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Willie J. Ray, age 47, of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence, to mail fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341. United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Ray applied for unemployment insurance payments with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) even though he was working. As a result of the false claims made by Ray, he was paid benefits from March 2009 until November 2011. At the time the fraud was discovered, Ray had been paid $10,565.00 by SCDEW and $3,756.00 by the United States Department of Labor, to which he was not entitled.

Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Ray can receive is a fine of $250,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.

The case was investigated by agents of the Department of Labor OIG and South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day, II of the Florence office handled the case.

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