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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Former NFL Player Pleads Guilty to Access Device Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft Scheme Involving CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Funds

Miami, Florida – South Florida native and former National Football League (NFL) Player Kenbrell Armod Thompkins, 33, pled guilty this week in federal district court to stealing other peoples’ identities to fraudulently obtain Covid-19-related unemployment insurance benefits.

Thompkins admitted that from August 16, 2020 through September 25, 2020, he used the social security numbers and other protected personal information of unsuspecting Florida residents to obtain prepaid unemployment insurance debit cards from California and to withdraw thousands of dollars from such cards.  Thompkins pled guilty to one count of unauthorized access device fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. U.S. District Court Judge Robert N. Scola, Jr. will sentence Thompkins on January 6, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. in Miami.  He faces up to 12 years in prison.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

USSS Miami and the Aventura Police Department investigated the case.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eduardo Gardea, Jr.

In 2020, Congress passed the Covid Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help individuals and businesses financially survive the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the provision of federal funds to state unemployment insurance benefit programs.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20136.

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Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Disaster Fraud
Identity Theft
Contact: 
Marlene Rodriguez Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Public Affairs Officer USAFLS.News@usdoj.gov
Updated October 20, 2021