Springfield Man Pleads Guilty in Federal Court to Wire Fraud in Connection with Fraudulent Scheme to Obtain Pandemic Unemployment Benefits
A federal grand jury recently returned a three-count indictment charging Tynea Lynnshay Gray, age 23, of Donaldsonville and Prairieville, Louisiana, with mail fraud and wire fraud. Gray appeared for her arraignment and pled not guilty to the pending charges.
According to the indictment, between June 2020 and October 2021, Gray submitted claims for unemployment insurance benefits in California in her name and in the names of other individuals. Gray also submitted claims for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) benefits in the names of fictitious businesses and based on fictitious business profits and losses.
Further, Gray obtained names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of others, and submitted fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance benefits in their names, with and without their knowledge or consent. Gray captured people’s identifying information through social media and used the information to file numerous unemployment insurance claims. Upon submitting the claims and receiving the funds, she either gave a portion of the funds to others or kept all the funds for herself. Through her scheme, Gray obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in prepaid debit cards in the mail.
In February 2021, Gray also devised a scheme to defraud a lender and the United States, through the Small Business Administration, by filing false and fraudulent applications for PPP funds. In furtherance of the scheme, on or about February 2, 2021, she submitted a false and misleading PPP application in the business name of “Royaldiamondzkollection LLC” seeking PPP funds. Gray submitted a forged bank statement, false tax documents, and made misrepresentations in her PPP applications.
Throughout the course of the fraudulent schemes, Gray caused over $550,000 in prepaid debit cards to be mailed to her addresses, to which she and others were not entitled. Additionally, Gray caused $20,833 to be deposited into her bank account, to which she was not entitled.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Labor-OIG and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward H. Warner.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by a grand jury. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.