Gulfport, Miss. – A Kiln, Mississippi man pled guilty to wire fraud related to the COVID pandemic, announced U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge David Denton of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans.
According to court records, on August 3, 2020, Trevon S. Evans, 25, was arrested by the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office in relation to two stolen vehicles. At the time of his arrest, Evans was in possession of multiple identification cards with different names. Further investigation revealed that Evans had taken advantage of elderly neighbors by convincing them to give him their personal identifying information so that he could help them receive benefits related to the COVID pandemic. Evans then used that information to apply for unemployment insurance under the Economic Security (CARES) Act benefits in the victims’ names and had them sent to him at his residence. The benefits totaled over $7,000 and were used by Mr. Evans at casinos along the Gulf Coast.
Evans will be sentenced on June 23, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erica Rose.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization that expands states’ ability to provide unemployment insurance for many workers impacted by COVID-19, including for workers who are not ordinarily eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
Anyone with information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866‑720‑5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.