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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Detroit Man Sentenced for Aggravated Identity Theft and Defrauding the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency

A Detroit man was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to aggravated identity theft and defrauding the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, United States Attorney Matthew Schneider announced.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Wanda M. Stokes, Director, Michigan Talent Investment Agency, Unemployment Insurance.

Devin Marquzes Griffin, 25, was sentenced today to 60 months by United States District Judge Mark A. Goldsmith for aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.

According to court records, from June 2016 through November 2017, Griffin conducted a scheme to defraud the Department of Labor through the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. Griffin obtained the personally identifiable information (PII) of several hundred Michiganders, and used that PII to file, access, and modify approximately 447 unemployment insurance claims in the names of other people. Additionally, Griffin used this PII to open credit card accounts in the names of others, and deposited the money derived from his fraudulent unemployment insurance scheme into these credit card accounts.

Griffin received hundreds of fraudulent unemployment insurance payments through his illegal scheme, stealing more than $504,000. Griffin used this money to make cash withdrawals, purchase cars, airline tickets, hotel rooms, shoes, and like items for himself.

“Devin Griffin robbed taxpayers and business owners for his personal use, stealing from the system meant to protect Michiganders. Even worse, Griffin stole the identities of hundreds of people, causing them untold financial, mental, and emotional harm. The people of Michigan deserve better, and we will continue to aggressively prosecute these cases on their behalf,” U.S. Attorney Schneider stated.

Director Stokes said, “ID theft is not a victimless crime. Individuals whose identity is stolen suffer as well as our taxpayers. We are committed to investigating, charging and convicting these criminals.  The UI staff along with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Attorney’s office are to be commended for catching this criminal and putting him in prison.”

This case was investigated by Steven Bognar and Andrew Donohue of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and Kurt Eggly of the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. Assistant United States Attorney Hank Moon prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Updated August 28, 2018