Three Dallas Residents Sentenced for Roles in ID Theft Scheme to Fraudulently Obtain Unemployment Insurance Benefits
DALLAS — Two Dallas residents who admitted their roles in an identity theft scheme to fraudulently obtain unemployment insurance benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Romar Bernard, 35, and Corey Toney, 30, were each sentenced today to 74 months in federal prison. Each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Co-conspirator Latavia Glover, 30, was sentenced last month by Judge Boyle to serve 24 months in federal prison. She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Each was ordered to pay, jointly and severally, more than $250,000 in restitution. Bernard has been in custody since his arrest in January 2015. Toney must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in 30 days, and Glover was ordered to report earlier this month.
The unemployment insurance program in Texas is administered by the TWC. Its purpose is to lessen the effects of unemployment through payments made directly to laid-off workers (claimants).
The conspirators provided TWC false and fictitious employer names and addresses that they controlled and/or to which they had access. They also created fictitious companies, including Corey Toney’s Tax Service, Bernard Enterprises, LTG Tax Services, Interests Solutions, and Todd T. Plumbing, and filed fictitious wage reports for alleged employees of the fictitious companies. However, the names and associated Social Security numbers of the alleged employees listed on these reports were of actual individuals who were unaware of the scheme and the fact that their identities were being used. The identities of the individuals listed as employees on the reports were then used to file for unemployment insurance benefit claims. Upon filing an unemployment insurance claim, a debit card would be issued in the individual’s name and mailed to an address controlled by one of the conspirators. Upon receipt of the debit cards, the conspirators would and did make numerous cash withdrawals at ATMs.
The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Gividen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Wiley were in charge of the prosecution.
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